River Cities

Jose "Pepe" Diaz wins fourth straight term as District 12 Commissioner

Not that there was ever much doubt of the outcome or that he was seriously threatened, but it was still a celebratory mood last week in the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral.

Miami-Dade County District 12 Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz and a large number of his close friends and supporters were all smiles at a victory party when the results of the County Commissioner District 12 race came in and he was the runaway winner over challenger Marjorie Figueira.

Diaz, who represents both Virginia Gardens and Medley, received 7,689 votes or 72.7 percent to Figueira’s 2,884 or 27.3 percent and will now enter his fourth consecutive four-year term after starting in 2000.

A new law requiring eight-year term limits for all Miami-Dade County Commissioners was passed last year, so Diaz, should he so choose, will be able to serve eight more years at his post.

Appropriately, part of the big contingent were all members of the Virginia Gardens council, including Mayor Spencer Deno IV, and most of the Medley council, led by Mayor Roberto Martell.

In another local race, the State Representative District 111 seat was up for grabs and was won by 2002 Miami Springs High School graduate Bryan Avila.

Avila took on Miami Springs resident Alex Anthony for the seat and won by a comfortable margin. Avila garnered 3,932 votes or 60.33 percent, while Anthony, who unsucessfully ran for a Miami Springs council seat 16 months ago, got 2,586 votes.