River Cities

Miami Springs councilman says he’ll run for Miami-Dade School Board

Jaime Petralanda
Jaime Petralanda

Miami Springs City Councilman Jaime Petralanda said Saturday that he intends to run for a seat on the Miami-Dade School Board.

His bid may soon leave the town with two leadership vacancies, as Miami Springs Councilwoman Mara Zapata announced two weeks ago that she, too, was running for the District 5 seat of the Miami-Dade School Board.

“I’m reaching out to you to let you know I’m running for the MDPS Board Seat vacated by Susie Castillo,” Petralanda texted the Herald Saturday afternoon.

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

When asked to share his qualifications and reasons for running for a School Board seat, and whether he soon plans on resigning, Petralanda, 58, declined comment.

“I appreciate the interest you show for our campaign but we will not make any official statements until mid-August but I assure you that you will be one of the first we reach out to,” Petralanda texted the Herald.

In 2012, former Miami Springs City Councilman Dan Espino made a similar bid and resigned his post to run for the District 5 School Board seat. Espino lost to Castillo and 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.

Petralanda ran unopposed in the 2019 election cycle.

“We are scheduled to make it official in mid-August,” Petralanda said.