So these are your choices, folks. Pick one.
Former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez and former Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina are in a foot race for Election Day votes in their bids to become the next mayor of Miami-Dade.
The only real poll taken regarding the race indicates Gimenez should win it in a walk, but Robaina may have more grassroots support than expected, between his Hialeah base and those blacks who pay attention to the preachers (and to black Democrats who are, strangely enough, backing the more right wing of the two available Republicans.) So who knows.
The latest news in the race is that the Christian Family Coalition, which basically exists to oppose gay marriage and gay adoption and abortion, has now formally endorsed Robaina, who unlike Gimenez, didn’t commit the sin of accepting the support of the pro gay rights Save DADE coalition.
Hopefully it won’t rain too much, and more than a pittance of voters will show up. More likely, the race has already been pretty much decided by the absentees and early vote.
But we shall see.
As to what it means, I think if Robaina wins, it will be a triumph for the traditional way that politics is played in Miami, the sometimes murky workings of various ethnic and religious machines that march their voters to the polls. If Gimenez wins, he’ll have a broader coalition, but it will also be a more “elite” coalition. Either way, the new mayor is going to become really unpopular really quickly, once the job cutting and the union contract-busting begins. Good times.
BTW, expect some known name Democrats, at least one, maybe two (TRR has heard the names Alex Penelas and Joe Martinez floated) to announce for mayor in 2012, not long after the conclusion of this race. That should make things interesting for the Democrats who endorsed, on either side, in this race.