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Miami-Dade pets group finally finds a commission candidate [updated]


Even a television campaign couldn't shake loose some challengers that pet advocates wanted to run for the Miami-Dade County Commission.

"We tried,'' a dejected Michael Rosenberg, president of the Miami-Dade Pets' Trust, wrote Naked Politics on Monday. 

Update: Rosenberg wrote a much cheerier email Tuesday afternoon. "Last night we received a response to our ad,'' he wrote. Marjorie C. Figueira, a school administrator, agreed to run against District 12 Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz. The story on her and other candidates' qualifying for the ballot is here. Wrote Rosenberg: "Marjorie wants to make a difference."

The organization behind 2012's successful straw-poll resolution endorsing a special property tax for animal services had hoped to find a candidate to champion their cause in this year's commission elections. It ran television spots pleading with someone to run against incumbents who the Pets' Trust viewed as not supporting the will of the voters in the non-binding ballot item. 

In a video sent by Rosenberg, Figueira said she responded to the Pets' Trust ad and decided to "get involved." She cited library funding as a priority, and also noted: "I believe when people vote, their votes should count." 


 Rosenberg said Monday he saw little hope of a candidate throwing a hat into the ring. 

"Money was the biggest reason,'' Rosenberg said in an interview. With the six incumbents up for reeelction collectively having raised more than $2 million, Rosenberg said would-be candidates didn't see a path to victory. "It would be like the Dolphins playing a team without any equipment." 

Rosenberg wouldn't say who the Pets Trust talked to about a run. Mounting a well-funded challenge to an incumbent commissioner isn't impossible. The latest campaign reports show Daniella Levine Cava has raised about $330,000 in her bid to unseat District 8 Commissioner Lynda Bell, whose campaign has  raised about $450,000. (An electioneering committee supporting Bell, Good Government Now, has raised an additional $132,000.)

A Pets' Trust candidate was considered a potential wild card before the qualifying deadline sets the field for the Aug. 26 primary that will determine whether incumbents face a run-off in November.

With Bell and Cava in a competitive race, and District 2 incumbent Jean Monestime facing a rematch against his well-known predecessor, Dorrin Rolle, the Pets' Trust had the chance to throw a new name into the mix. But Rosenberg said he doesn't expect any last-minute entries.

"The money has totally killed it,'' he said.