Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

« Hialeah incumbents score easy wins | Main | Recount likely in Miami Beach mayoral election »

Homestead elects mayor in tight race

By Lidia Dinkova and Elizabeth De Armas

Hours after the polls closed on Tuesday night, Homestead voters were unsure of the identity of their next mayor.

But with all 16 precincts reporting, former Vice Mayor and Councilman Jeff Porter, 54, pulled ahead of his challenger, innkeeper Mark Bell, 57, a political newcomer.

Porter will succeed Steve Bateman, who was jailed in August on corruption charges and suspended by the governor, and then sought redemption by running for reelection. Bateman, who awaits trial on both felony and misdemeanor charges, lost to Bell and Porter in the first round of voting on Oct. 1.

Bell, married to former mayor and current Miami-Dade County Commissioner Lynda Bell, waited out the results with about 60 supporters in downtown Homestead’s Hotel Redland, which he owns.

More here.