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The most courted man in Miami-Dade County?

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.

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Cynical Idealist

Long term, the winner is Marcelo Llorente. He's still young enough to run for office in the future. But, for now, he holds the face cards and the wild cards....

We need change

I am hearing LLorente is going to endorse Gimenez,if that happens that would give him the advantage in this race. We will see what Luke does, Gimenez seemed to have more African American support, but we will see if Campbell backs him or goes with Robaina.

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