Miami-Dade mayoral hopefuls Jose "Pepe" Cancio and Luther "Luke" Campbell, snubbed from other candidate forums, finally have a platform on which they can finally share the stage and be compared to each other and all the other guys and, finally, one girl (more on that later).
Cancio, a businessman and former interim county commission (appointed by then Gov. Jeb Bush), and rapper-turned-political-satirist Campbell were [finally] invited to a forum and have confirmed their attendance, said the presenting Democracy for America Miami-Dade, a liberal group that promotes "progressive candidates" like Howard Dean. The organization reported on its website (http://www.dfamiami.com/) that it invited all the candidates, but that as of Thursday only former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez, who resigned this week to run for the post, failed gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari, and newcomers to the race Gabrielle Redfern (who lost a bid last year for Miami Beach commission) and Roosevelt Bradley (former Miami-Dade Transit Director) had confirmed they would attend the forum at IBEW Union Hall, 1657 NW 17th Ave. Notably MIA is Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina, who many consider a front runner along with Gimenez and former state rep. Marcelo Llorente, who was the first to announce his run and start collecting funds two years ago. Not notably MIA are Wilbur Bell (a comedian who lost a Miami Beach mayoral bid last year), Eddie Lewis (who lost his bid for property appraiser), and Jeffrey Lampert (that name rings a bell).
DFAM (board members are Franco Caliz, Sam Feldman, Nadine Olmann, Jessica Galvez, Wendy Sejour, Larry Thorson and Krystina Armeda) encourages questions but they must be submitted in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org (Ladra growls).
This all-inclusive public exchange is a great idea, except for one thing: If DFAM gets all 11 mayoral candidates to participate, which I applaud, the 7 p.m. meeting is going to go into the wee hours of Tuesday.
Ladra hopes they have snacks.