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If pols get the boot in recall, what happens next?

If angry voters throw out Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez on Tuesday, it likely will mark the biggest recall of a local government official in U.S. history.

Never have voters ousted the leader of a county or city government serving such a large population, said Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at Wagner College and expert on recall elections. “I think this could be the second biggest recall ever in terms of population, after the state of California,” Spivak said.

In 2003, California voters tossed out Gov. Gray Davis. But recalls of local government leaders – like the recent removal of city officials in Bell, Calif., population 36,500 – nearly always happen in small municipalities. By contrast, Miami-Dade County, with Miami at its core, has 2.5 million people.

To be sure, Alvarez and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Natacha Seijas, who also is facing recall, are campaigning hard to avoid ouster. But if voters remove the county mayor and veteran commissioner — as a recent poll shows is likely — there are an array of questions that county commissioners and policymakers will have to address in coming weeks, ranging from how the government with an annual budget of $7.5 billion will be administered in the near term to how to fill the mayor’s vacancy.

Full story from Matthew Haggman and Martha Brannigan here.