Frank Lago, the chief of staff to Sweetwater Mayor Manny Maroño, has officially filed to run for Hialeah council -- challenging the weakest of the council members on the dais. That is, if Paul Henrnadez -- appointed two months ago to fill the vacancy created when the council president was appointed mayor -- even runs. As of Wednesday, he had not indicated he would.
Lago announced his candidacy Wednesday morning at the same time he released a July 13 poll that indicates he has high name recognition and would beat either Hernandez or Councilwoman Vivian Casals-Muñoz. Or as he put it, it "shows that I can win and do so by a large margin."
The pieces of the poll Lago released -- not the numbers reflecting the mayoral race -- show his name recognition, on the heels of a failed run for state rep, is twice as good as Casals-Muñoz. snd those are better odds. Hernandez has not filed to run for election to the seat, but activist and former water department employee, Daisy Castellanos, has marked Group 6 as her race (who violated campaign laws by spending money on t-shirts and a banner out of her own pocket. More on that later).
"I am the best candidate for this position," Lago wrote in an email to the media. "My experience as an administrator is what our city needs in these uncertain economic times. I reached the decision to run after numerous conversations with different residents and neighbors and most importantly, after consulting with my wife and family."
His wife, Liz Iglesias, lost a bid for council in 2007 despite some help from former mayor and current candidate Raul Martinez. But nobody knows who Lago will align himself with.
"Hialeah faces a difficult time and needs a new voice on the council, one that will advocate for fiscal responsibility and business development," Lago said. "Hialeah has long been a city known for its strong work ethic and industrial skill. Given that fact, I intend to work with the Mayor and fellow councilmembers to revitalize our business sector to spur job creation and investment. I also intend to ensure that we have a government that learns to live within its boundaries and serve as a model for our neighbors."
The announcement highlighted some of the figures in the July 13 Dario Moreno poll of 300 people that likely helped Lago make the decision:
"Frank Lago enjoys favorability that is on par with or exceeds incumbent members of the Hialeah City Council." Big deal? El manicero guy on 49th St. has more favorability.
"Frank Lago would easily defeat either Vivian Casals-Muñoz or Paul Hernandez for Hialeah council." Again, one would hope he could beat a two-month incumbent after spending $100,000 to get his name out during the race for the state house.
"Lago, along with Alex Morales, will be the favored to win the open commission seat." Now, what exactly does that mean? That Lago is trying to tie his name to Morales, whose numbers were also not released but who reportedly can get elected against anybody.
Now, Lago against Morales -- that would be much more closer to even contest and more fun to watch.