Miami Shores

Preschool owner becomes El Portal mayor

El Portal voter chose a new mayor and two new Village Council members on Tuesday.

Claudia Cubillos defeated incumbent mayor Daisy Black for the mayoral seat, while newcomers Roxanne Isaacs and Aubrey Brunson will join the council. Returning Councilman Harold Mathis also defeated his opponent. All seats carry two-year terms.

Councilman Omar Nickerson won his seat unopposed.

Cubillos defeated Black 54 to 45 percent garnering 481 votes compared to her opponent’s 394, according to the Miami-Dade County elections department.

The new mayor said she is humbled by the win.

“I will be using residents’ input and ideas in setting both short-term goals and a long-term vision for El Portal in order to make it the community of choice to live, work, and play,” she wrote in an email.

She has been on the council since 2008. Cubillos runs Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy preschool. She has a degree from Florida International University in English and public relations and has lived in El Portal for seven years.

She also added that she is ready to get down for business.

“My first priority is to pull the new council together as a team, as together everyone achieves more,” she added. “We have two new council people just elected for the first time, as well as former Vice-Mayor and Councilperson Harold Mathis is returning to the dais in Seat 4 after a few-year hiatus. Along with incumbent Omar Nickerson in Seat 3, this new Team’s first order of business will be to closely manage the purchase of the former Little Farm area, and ensure that it is properly developed with a focus on sustainability of the Village and the interests of the residents.”

Meanwhile, Isaacs defeated incumbent council member Adam Woolson Old for the council Seat 1 by 55 to 44 percent, earning 429 votes compared to the 349 votes her opponent had.

She works as a career advisor for a nonprofit group and has a degree from Florida Memorial University in computer science.

In a close race, Brunson defeated Teresa Sanchez with a 52 to 47 percent. Brunson had 408 votes compared to Sanchez’s 368 for to earn him the village’s Seat 2.

Brunson is retired from law enforcement and has lived in the village for 25 years.

Mathis defeated Sonia Frederic to earn him the village’s Seat 4. Mathis had a total of 408 votes compared to 386 votes grabbed by Frederic.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude being asked to run in this election cycle and then to be victorious, means so much to me,” he wrote in an email. “The villagers clearly have an idea of what they want and I feel humbled that they trust me to guide them through El Portal’s next stage of growth.”

Mathis returns to the council after serving on the dais from 2005 to 2012. He also served as vice mayor from 2008 to 2012. He has lived in the village for 14 years.