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The making of a mayor, Miami-Dade style

Carlos Gimenez, elected mayor of Miami-Dade County last week, almost didn’t run.

His family wanted him to. They told him so over dinner in his Coconut Grove home in April, on the Sunday before the deadline to qualify for the special mayoral election.

His advisers wanted him to. They had met earlier in a Coral Gables office — where the air conditioning was turned off because it was the weekend — that would eventually serve as Gimenez’s campaign headquarters.

Gimenez had said he would run for mayor in 2012. But did he want to leave his county commission seat a year early and jump in the race now, a month after voters ousted Mayor Carlos Alvarez?

Vacillating, Gimenez waited until the night before qualifying ended to make his decision.

He was in.

Then came the hard part: Three months of non-stop campaigning as an underdog.

Full story here.