Former State Rep. Marcelo Llorente, who came in third last month in the special election to replace the recalled county mayor, will announce that he will endorse the number 2 horse, Carlos Gimenez, in the June 28 runoff against Julio Robaina, who came in first.
Llorente could not be reached for comment this morning and the Gimenez camp shceduled an 11:15 a.m. press conference to announce the news. JC Flores, campaign manager for the former commissioner, told Ladra an hour earlier that the final decision was made about 1 a.m.
It could be an important push. Llorente, photographed here casually conversing with Gimenez at a candidate forum in April, garnered nearly 15 percent of the vote in the first round. His support can help Gimenez close the gap in the West Kendall and Westhchester areas.
This will be Gimenez's second endorsement from the other 9 candidates that were voted off the island May 24. Jeffrey Lampert, a Miami-Dade firefighter, was the first. Ladra expects Gabrielle Redfern, who wants a job in transit, to be next. But two other candidates who could really help Gimenez have said they are staying on the fence.
Jose "Pepe" Cancio told Ladra on election night that he would not endorse either one because of the agreement he came up with and had all 11 candidates sign to be cordial to one another and to meet with the mayor elected as a group for the next 18 months. And Luther Campbell, who came in fourth and could have come in third if not for Llorente's huge absentee ballot push, has also said that he would not endorse anyone.
Growl. Ladra respectfully tells both Uncle Luke and Papi Chulo, both of whom I respect more than most in that group, that their decision is cowardly. You don't need votes to show you are a community leader. Just put your influence to work. Not doing so would be a travesty.