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Candidates trade jabs in ugly Miami-Dade commission race pitting ex-lawmaker against cop

An already nasty Miami-Dade County Commission campaign appears poised to get worse.

Candidate Juan C. Zapata is bracing for the latest attack, which he predicts will bring up a federal money-laundering conviction against his parents 30 years ago and his own brush with the law as a college student 20 years ago.

Political advertisements bringing up that history have yet to hit mailboxes or the airwaves. But Zapata, a former state representative, told The Miami Herald that he suspects a shadowy third-party group in Tallahassee that has already bankrolled several mailers against him is preparing to send out new ones as absentee ballots begin to arrive in voters’ homes.

“The strategy is to destroy Zapata,” he said. “ ‘Let’s point out the two or three blemishes on his record and go after him.’ ”

His opponent, Manny Machado, a Miami-Dade police detective, said Zapata was “victimizing himself” by mentioning potential attacks.

“I don’t know where they’re from, but obviously he may not have people who want to see him in office,” Machado said. “I have no reason to go negative.”

Machado decried two mailers against him that called him a “bureaucrat” and that suggested county unions are bankrolling his campaign. The fliers were sent by Citizens for Progress & Integrity, a local electioneering communications organization (ECO) that backs Zapata.

The two will face off in a nonpartisan Nov. 6 runoff to replace outgoing Commissioner Joe Martinez in District 11, which stretches across a wide swath of unincorporated West Miami-Dade.

Comments

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Semper Fi

Here are the FACTS:
1) Zapata supported Charlie Christ against Marco Rubio.
2) Zapata supports Democrats over Republicans
2) Zapata voted in favor to raise fees and taxes by more than 2 billion in 2009
3) Zapata was a registered Lobbyiest while serving in the Legislature
4) Zapata voted against giving then Governor Jeb Bush special authority to keep Terry Schaivo alive.

After 14 years in politics you finally admit that you sold drugs and your parents laundered millions of dollars in drug proceeds. You name one of your corporations after the federal operation that imprisoned your father which proves that you have no remorse, no class and more importantly no conscience.

If the voters of District 11 choose a criminal over a Detective it proves that anyone can get elected.

It amazes me that the Miami Herald continues to portray you as a victim. I only wish some reporter does the right thing and reports the facts not just your version.

Maria C. Regalado

Neuther Zapata or Machado appear in the absentee ballot. We are in district 11 and we can not believe that is happening.

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