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Miami-Dade appeals decision to withold election results

The campaigns of Julio Robaina and Xavier Suarez thought they would not know any results in their Miami-Dade County Commission contest Tuesday night. A judge had ordered that the final outcome of the election be kept under wraps.

But word spread quickly after polls closed at 7 p.m.: Printouts of the precinct-by-precinct tallies were posted outside polling sites.

The two camps dispatched volunteers to the sites to jot down as many of the numbers as they could.

“We got a representative sample — we won every one,” Suarez said Wednesday.

He himself checked a Little Havana precinct. One of his daughters, her fiancé and a couple of volunteers checked out a precinct each in Coral Gables, Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove and Kendall, he added, before joining a low-key campaign celebration at Havana Vieja restaurant on Coral Way.

Robaina stayed home but received a couple of reports from precincts in his neighborhood of South Miami, where he is expected to do well. “They were very good,” he said, adding that an additional result in his favor in a precinct in the city of Miami “raises my optimism.”

He heard about the tallies “through a person of a person” and was surprised, Robaina said. “I thought that our stuff was 100 percent hush-hush.”

Both candidates’ numbers are incomplete. Neither collected the results of all of the precincts in the district, and the Election Day tallies don’t include early voting or absentee ballots.

The mad dash by the campaigns to get a feel for how they did capped two whirlwind days in the battle to represent District 7, which stretches from Pinecrest to Key Biscayne.

Late Monday, Circuit Judge William Thomas ruled to suppress the results of the election for at least a week, pending a hearing in a case by a would-be third candidate. The county on Wednesday appealed the decision, and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday before the Third District Court of Appeal. Full story here.

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