River Cities

Miami Springs elects Billy Bain mayor; Maria Mitchell, Mara Zapata council members

Miami Springs’ incoming council: From left, Group 1 Councilman Bob Best, Group 2 Councilwoman Maria Puente Mitchell, Mayor Billy Bain, Group 3 Councilwoman Mara Zapata and Group 4 Councilman Jaime Petralanda.
Miami Springs’ incoming council: From left, Group 1 Councilman Bob Best, Group 2 Councilwoman Maria Puente Mitchell, Mayor Billy Bain, Group 3 Councilwoman Mara Zapata and Group 4 Councilman Jaime Petralanda. For the Miami Herald

Miami Springs voters cast ballots Tuesday at the city’s golf course for a new mayor and two new council members, rejecting both a husband and wife who wanted to serve concurrently.

▪ In the mayor’s race, local businessman Billy Bain handily beat challengers Donna Hernandez and Eric Elza with 54 percent of the vote.

“I want to thank everyone for your support and vote,” Bain said.

Residents also elected the two new council members:

▪ Group 2: Maria Mitchell, a former county official, defeated challengers Martin Marquez and Constantino Hernandez with 57 percent of the vote.

▪ Group 3: Mara Zapata, a school administrator at Miami Dade College, crushed challenger Kathie Marquez with 76 percent of the vote.

Martin and Kathie Marquez — who are married to each other and sought to become the first spouses to serve on a Florida municipal council at the same time — did not show up to hear officials announce the winners.

▪ Bob Best, a landscaper, ran unopposed in Group 1. Jaime Petralanda, a schoolteacher, ran unopposed in Group 4.

Miami Springs has a population of about 14,000. Of the city’s 8,834 registered voters, 2,103 (24 percent) cast ballots, according to election officials.

The newly elected Miami Springs city Council will be sworn in 6:30 p.m. April 17 at the city’s community center, 1401 Westward Dr. Their first council meeting begins at 7 p.m.

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