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Miami-Dade Chair Joe Martinez signals commitment to mayor's race with November resignation letter

Miami-Dade Commission Chairman Joe Martinez filed a symbolic letter of resignation -- effective in November -- on Tuesday, signaling he is committed to challenging Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Martinez submitted the letter resigning from his District 11 commission seat effective Nov. 20, the date his successor (and the new mayor) would take office. His resignation is not required, because Martinez's commission post is up for reelection this year.

"Although my term of office for Commissioner of District 11 ends on November 20, 2012 and thus no resignation is required, I am submitting this letter in an abundance of caution and to make sure the residents of District 11 and Miami-Dade County know that I will be seeking the Office of Mayor of Miami-Dade County in the upcoming election," Martinez wrote.

The letter, which underscores his commitment to the mayor's race, comes amid speculation that Martinez would drop out of the contest to stay in his commission seat or seek another office, such as the county property appraiser.

Martinez sent the letter to Harvey Ruvin, the clerk of the courts, and Penelope Townsley, the county supervisor of elections, with copies to Gov. Rick Scott, the secretary of state, county commissioners, the county attorney and Gimenez. Read the letter here.

--MARTHA BRANNIGAN AND PATRICIA MAZZEI

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