Thursday, March 24, 2011

Party tonight after commission vote

Miami Shores Councilman P. Guillermo Herrera picked a bad date for his re-election campaign kickoff. Twice.

First he wanted to do it on the 17th, but thought it might not be smart if people had other St. Patrick's Day plans. So he chose March 24, instead. Oops.

Herrera, who has aspirations to run for the commission seat now held by Sallye Heyman, admitted his stomach sank a little when he heard this week the commission had decided to meet on the same day for a special meeting to set the date for the election of the recalled mayor and commissioner and potential charter questions to also put on the ballot.

"I couldn't change it," said Herrera, 49, director of support services at Miami Dade College. "We had already reserved the [Miami Shores] Country Club and we told everyone we were going to be there, invitations went out."

He knows the county meeting -- still going strong at 5:30 p.m. when his shindig was set to being -- would likely thin out his supporters. "Some said they're coming between 6:30 and 8, once the meeting is over."

If the meeting is over by then, you mean. And if they have any energy left or will to hear from more politicians.

So, just in case, the councilman will have two more fundraisers in his quest to get the most votes of all seven candidates for four council seats. The two with the most votes will serve four-year terms and the top vote-getter will be named mayor for the first two years of that term. Mayor Al Davis will serve the next two years and finish his term as a councilman.

Two other incumbents are among the hopefuls in the April 12 election: Hunt Davis and Stephen Loffredo. They are joined on the ballot by former mayor Jim McCoy, and first time candidates Angela Maria Alvero, Robert Swan and Jesse Walters.

"My mission this year is to get enough votes to become mayor," said Herrera, who told Ladra he had raised about $5,000, though $4,000 was loaned to himself. "Since the economy is so slow, a lot of people have been unable to contribute as before."

The deadline for the campaign finance reports is Friday, March 25. The election is April 12.

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