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Villalobos skips meeting, stumps for Carlos

Miami Sen. Alex Villalobos today missed the Judiciary Committee he chairs in Tallahassee to stay home and work the polls to pay back the man who helped keep him in office: Miami-Dade's new strong Mayor Carlos Alvarez.

Alvarez backed Villalobos in the vicious state Senate race that he narrowly survived this fall, when four of Villalobos' fellow senators and loyalists of Gov. Jeb Bush tried to unseat him. More here on the effort (as well as other Miami-Dade House elections shenanigans). Alvarez, whose approval ratings were purportedly higher than Bush's, cut ads for Villalobos that were considered central to his campaign: Download Race.doc

The grassroots campaign not only paid for Villalobos, but also for Alvarez's sister, Sonia Castro, who earned $14,000 in consulting fees, according to the state's elections website. Alvarez, incidentally, chatted today by phone with Gov. Charlie Crist who offered his "full support," the mayor and a Crist aide said.