The field for the North Miami mayoral seat continues to grow as Hector Medina has joined the May 9 race. The retired medical doctor filed March 20 for the seat and said he wants to bring more Hispanic representation to the City Council.
“My goal is to serve all the communities in North Miami,” Medina said. “I believe I am uniquely qualified to be the mayor of a multicultural city.”
Medina, who has not held elected office, started attending meetings regularly after he and his fellow neighbors complained about the noise from heavy machinery at nearby dry cleaning business, Spotmaster.
He said that the event that really sparked his decision to run was the city’s Mardi Gras in January. Medina lives near where the festival took place and he said that the $250,000 carnival ran late and disturbed the neighboring communities. He said the festival was planned without considering residents.
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“I am the person that is less inclined to involve himself in politics but I thought, I have no choice but to do this,” Medina said.
The current mayor, Smith Joseph, has been in office since 2014, when he won a special election to complete the rest of ex-mayor Lucie Tondreau's term. He was elected to his first two-year term in 2015 and faced no opposition. Along with Medina, former mayoral candidate Danielle Beauvais is also competing for the seat in this year’s election.
Councilman Philippe Bien-Aime is facing competition from political newcomer Wancito Francius and former councilman Jean Marcellus. Councilwoman Carol Keys is currently the only unopposed candidate.
The candidate filing period runs through April 4. Residents have until April 10 to register for the election. If a runoff election is necessary, it will take place June 6.