Today, that could be Marcelo Llorente, the former state lawmaker who came in third place Tuesday night in the Miami-Dade mayor's race.
With a respectable 15 percent of the vote, Llorente will likely be fielding calls in the upcoming days -- if he isn't already -- from Julio Robaina and Carlos Gimenez, the two candidates who made it into next month's runoff.
At his victory speech Tuesday night, Gimenez had nice things to say about Llorente: "He had a great run" and "will be a great future leader," he said.
On Spanish-language radio Wednesday morning, Robaina spokeswoman Ana Carbonell added, "I think Marcelo Llorente played a very good role." She praised him for running a "clean" race: "He has a future in whatever he wants to do."
Of the fourth-place finished, former 2 Live Crew frontman Luther Campbell, Carbonell said she thought voters expected him to be a more "dynamic" candidate. At a forum last week, Campbell accused Robaina of paying off other African-American candidates to split the mayoral vote. (The candidates rebuked the accusation, and Robaina said he would not dignify it with a response.)
Tuesday night, Gimenez lauded Campbell.
Llorente and Campbell could help the two remaining candidates shore up much-needed support for the June 28 runoff: Turnout is expected to be low in the middle of the summer. Llorente organized a large group of volunteers, particularly in voter-rich West Kendall, and Campbell polled strongly among black voters.