Having mostly avoided media interviews so far, Miami District 2 Commission candidate Teresa Sarnoff opened up a little Thursday morning on the cozy confines of Bloomberg Radio.
Appearing on The Gray Zone, a one-hour political show, she spoke about her family, traffic, Miami's economy and policing. She is running against eight other candidates for the downtown-area seat of her term-limited husband, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, a relationship that has given her substantial name-recognition and fundraising advantages over the field but also raised criticisms about her independence.
"Contrary to some of my opponents, I think Miami is headed in a great direction," said Sarnoff. "The foundation of our economy is broadening and becoming more stable. We aren't just dependent on tourism."
Sarnoff, who grew up in a small town outside Buffalo, N.Y., said she is the fourth of 10 girls, and came to Miami because she was often introduced as "number four, so I always wanted to go someplace they didn't know my number." She said the rest of the Forrestel family followed her to Miami after her father died of a heart attack on a family boating trip.
She touted her fundraising for Camillus House homeless shelter and work with the Fashion Tails animal adoption program. She said Miami needs more police officers, synchronized streetlights to avoid bottlenecks, and workforce housing -- all positions previously espoused by her husband.
But critical questions were absent from Thursday's radio appearance. She was lobbed softballs for 20 minutes by the show's co-hosts Henry Crespo and Marcos Lapciuc, who later told The Herald that he invited her on the show after meeting her at her husband's law office and cutting her a "small" campaign check.
Lapciuc says Sarnoff's opponents are welcome on the show as well. The election is scheduled for November.
Updated: Executive producer Fred Menachem says the show has booked Sarnoff opponent Grace Solares for an upcoming show.