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First-time candidate challenges longtime Miami-Dade commissioner


Javier Souto, one of the longest-serving members of the Miami-Dade County Commission, doesn’t bring out anger in his reelection opponent, rookie candidate Marina Meadows.

“He is someone who’s an institution,” she said. “But he doesn’t represent us residents anymore.”

That’s the outsider pitch Meadows, a long-shot challenger, has been making at political events, big and small, in a bid to oust Souto, who has been on the commission since 1993. District 10 comprises a swath of West Miami-Dade that includes Fontainebleau, Westchester and Kendale Lakes.

Meadows, a 46-year-old former bookkeeper who is unemployed and speaks halting English, doesn’t campaign on specific issues or votes. She doesn’t have much of a political organization to speak of, or even a professional candidate portrait. Meadows said she had trouble opening a campaign bank account and has raised only $710. Souto has collected nearly $211,000.

But Meadows said she’s running anyway to give voters an alternative to Souto, whom she considers out of touch and getting on in years. He’s 75.

More here.