By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Yesterday the residents of Miami Beach voted, sending all three of the City Commission seats races to a Run-Off election on November 19th. Voters also approved only 2 of the 6 ballot questions put forward, regarding the commission’s process for filling a new vacancy and naming Pride Park.
According to Miami-Dade Elections Department, less than 10,000 votes were cast in Miami Beach, a city of 92,000. The results are unofficial until certified by the canvassing board.
In Group 4, the results were; Kristen Rosen Gonalez: 38 percent, with 3,700 votes, Michael Barrineau: 23.86 percent, with 2,316 votes, Steven Meiner: 23.85 percent, with 2,315 votes and Rafael Velasquez: fourteen percent, with 1,374 votes.
According to the Miami Herald, Rosen Gonzalez thanked voters and said she looks forward to “being their champion”. “I am so thrilled that the residents of Miami Beach sent such a strong message that they want me back in office,” she said.
Barrineau said in a statement. “Tonight, one thing is clear, voters are ready for pragmatism and less drama […] We will go through the process of a recount this week and I’m confident that process will reaffirm what we already know — it’s time for a new vision that is focused on our community. I’m ready to do just that.”
In Group 5, the results were; Ricky Arriola: 45 percent, with 4,178 votes, Raquel Pacheco: 24 percent, with 2,250 votes, Stephen Cohen: 22 percent, with 2,104 votes and Jonathan Welsh: seven percent, with 683 votes.
Pacheco said she was “in shock” that she forced an incumbent into a runoff with a campaign budget of just under $13,000. Arriola raised $257,000 in campaign contributions – almost $100,000 more than any other commission candidate for any seat.
In Group 6, the results were; David Richardson: 48 percent, with 4,618 votes, Adrian Gonzalez: 38 percent, with 3,627 votes, Blake Young: nine percent, with 879 votes and Mohammed Islam: three percent, with 330 votes.
Run-Off Election early voting will be on November 16th and November 17th at the two Miami Beach Early Voting sites. November 9th is the deadline to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot.
The special ballot questions have been controversial and the residents that voted rejected 4 of 6. They voted, no on the city commission pay adjustment and the mayor term increase, as well as the increased floor area ratio (FAR) density for development of historic buildings and office space.
Voters approved the ballot questions regarding the commission’s process for filling a new vacancy and naming Pride Park. In April 2019, the city began construction of a 5.8-acre public park known as the main Convention Center Park/P-Lot, and in June suggested the name be designated “Pride Park.”