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Miami mayoral challenger draws big-name support


Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez, who is vying to unseat mayor Tomás Regalado in the upcoming November election, now has the support of three of his four colleagues, in addition to that of the county mayor.

Commissioners Marc Sarnoff, Michelle Spence-Jones and Wifredo “Willy” Gort, as well as Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, will host a fundraising party for Suarez next week.

Their support for Suarez over an incumbent mayor speaks to the wide disapproval among many local leaders of Regalado’s tenure. Regalado won his 2009 race with more than 70 percent of the vote.

“These are significant leaders in the community who are excited about the possibility of having a mayor like me who has a clear vision about the future of this city,” said Suarez, who was reelected without opposition in 2011 after winning Regalado’s old seat in a special election two years earlier.

Regalado said he knows he’s made choices that haven’t sat well with the commission. As an example, he pointed to his decision last week to veto a plan favored by Sarnoff, Spence-Jones and Gort to allow some high-ranking retired municipal employees to return to the city’s payroll while collecting their pensions.

More here.