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Six Miami-Dade mayoral candidates face off

Four weeks before election day — and even less before absentee and early voting starts — six of the leading candidates in the Miami-Dade County mayor’s race gathered for a lunchtime debate Wednesday that, on its surface, underscored the contenders’ broad agreement on overhauling a county government widely viewed as fat and out of touch.

Should the tax rate increases pushed by ousted county mayor Carlos Alvarez be rescinded? Yes, all six answered.

Should voters approve 12-year term limits for county commissioners? No, was the answer. All six said commissioners should have put an eight-year term limit on the May 24 ballot for voters to consider.

Is the compensation plan that could exceed $900,000 annually for Carlos Migoya, the newly-hired CEO at the county-run Jackson Health System, too rich? Yes, each one said.

In the wake of Alvarez’s historic recall last month, in which 88 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of removal, 11 candidates have launched into the short sprint of a campaign to decide who will serve out the remainder of the former mayor’s term, ending in November 2012. Each is trying to emerge from the crowded field and condensed campaign schedule by portraying themselves as the person best suited to retool the much maligned county government.

Full story by Matthew Haggman here.