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Hialeah win put focus on political operative

Newly elected Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez did something unusual after being sworn into office earlier this month: He publicly thanked the architect of his victory, campaign manager Sasha Tirador.

It was a rare moment in the spotlight for Tirador, one of a select group of Miami-Dade political consultants who toil in the shadows of campaigns, shaping strategies, crafting messages — and propelling candidates into the spheres of power.

Few operatives have been busier the past year than Tirador, with clients ranging from the county School Board to the state Legislature to Hialeah. In the spring she led two defeated campaigns, Frank Lago for state representative and Julio Robaina for Miami-Dade mayor, but followed that with wins in four Hialeah City Council races.

But it was Hernandez’s 20-percentage point landslide over former Mayor Raul Martinez that may have cemented Tirador’s status as one of the most buzzed about local strategists.

Success is ephemeral in politics, and Tirador has not escaped controversy, particularly over the handling of absentee ballots. Still, her star has clearly risen since leaving Spanish-language radio about five years ago to dedicate herself to campaigns.

It was a natural transition.

More here.