On what would be his last afternoon to enjoy the spacious expanses of the office afforded Miami’s mayor, Tomás Regalado was feeling a bit uncomfortable.
There was a dank, musty smell permeating the room, where the air conditioning was on the fritz all day and a breeze cooling things down started sending rain drops through open windows. The walls were bare, the pictures of a younger Regalado in his days as a foreign correspondent all gone.
After eight years as the resident in chief of the second floor at Dinner Key, the signs were all pointing to the same thing: Time to go.
For the first time in more than 21 years, there isn’t a Regalado in elected office in Miami. Last week, Francis Suarez was sworn in and Regalado, a former journalist turned politician, became a private citizen who for the first time since 1996 will try to figure out life outside elected office. At 70 years old, Regalado talks about this chapter as if it will be a last, discussing the past as scrapbook material and the future along the lines of “if I am alive.”
“It’s like Nixon said,” Regalado quipped when he appeared in the receptionist’s office to greet a reporter. “You won’t have me to kick around anymore.”
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