River Cities

Miami Springs councilwoman says she’ll run for Miami-Dade School Board

Mara Zapata. the Miami Springs councilwoman who announced Tuesday that she is running for the District 5 seat of the Miami-Dade School Board.
Mara Zapata. the Miami Springs councilwoman who announced Tuesday that she is running for the District 5 seat of the Miami-Dade School Board.

Miami Springs City Councilwoman Mara Zapata announced Tuesday that she intends to run for a seat on the Miami-Dade School Board.

Her bid may soon leave the town scrambling to fill her position.

“I’ve dedicated the last 30 years of my life to helping children receive the best education possible, working with new teachers to help them be the most qualified and prepared teachers they can be and guiding parents to make the best decisions for their children,” Zapata wrote in her July 1 press release.

Florida’s “resign-to-run law” prohibits an elected official from qualifying as a candidate for other public office if the terms overlap. Zapata’s term ends in 2021, according to city officials.

When asked whether she plans to resign, Zapata told the Herald: “I would like to stay on the council as long as possible but will have to abide by whatever the city recommends and what legally I must comply with.”

In 2012, former Miami Springs City Councilman Dan Espino made a similar bid and resigned his post to run for the District 5 seat. Espino, who was handily defeated by Susie Castillo, serves as the city attorney for Miami Springs through his law firm.

Castillo will not be seeking re-election in 2020, according to her chief of staff, Andreina Espina.

Zapata was first elected in 2017 and she ran unopposed in the 2019 election cycle. Zapata’s resume includes working with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, as well as Miami Dade College, where she chaired the K-12 teacher education programs.

“Over the next few months, I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can. I want to hear from you and learn about your concerns, your worries as well as hear positive stories about your children and their education,” Zapata said.

For more information, visit http://www.electmarazapata.com

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