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Michael Gongora, Miami Beach's first openly gay commissioner, says he's running again

Attorney Michael Gongora, Miami Beach's first openly gay city commissioner, has announced that he is running for election again. Gongora served one term from 2005-07 and lost in a Nov. 2007 reelection bid to Ed Tobin.

This time, Gongora is looking to succeed Commissioner Saul Gross, who can't run again because of term limits.

Here's Gongora's news announcement:

Photo1main Miami Beach, FL – Michael Gongora announced his candidacy for election to the Miami Beach Commission in Group 2 by opening his campaign account and filing the necessary documentation with the City Clerk's Office. Commission Group 2 is vacant due to Commissioner Saul Gross leaving due to term limits.

Stated Gongora, "I am confident the voters will choose my experience and qualifications because it allows me to serve them with effectiveness and integrity." Gongora is an attorney practicing community association law and commercial litigation. Gongora's name recognition, extensive experience, knowledge of city government, diverse community endorsements and ability to raise support make him the front runner in the Group 2 contest.

In December 2006, Gongora was elected as president of the Miami Beach Bar Association, a sixty-year-old voluntary bar association of Miami Beach attorneys. During his tenure, Gongora re-opened the Miami Beach Bar Association pro bono Law Clinic in North Beach providing free legal services to low income residents. Prior to being elected Commissioner in 2006, Gongora had served in numerous civic, charitable, business and legal communities throughout Miami-Dade County. He served as member of the City’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and Design Review Board.

Gongora's other civic, charitable, business and in-kind legal activities include service as Legal Advisor to CAMACOL, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of the USA. He was also elected as President of the Miami Beach Latin Chamber of Commerce from 2001 to 2003 and now chairs the Advisory Board of Directors. Never turning away from an opportunity to serve, last year Gongora was elected as Chairman of ECOMB (Environmental Coalition of Miami Beach) a group which is instrumental in keeping the city clean and green. In 2007, Gongora created and chaired the City’s first ever Green Committee focusing on sustainability issues including energy conservation and recycling.

Gongora, enthusiastic about returning to the Commission, stated, "I look forward to an energetic and positive campaign, communicating with voters about my vision for our city's future, improving our city’s infrastructure, and listening to the people about what their city government must focus on to improve their quality of life."

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That is wonderful news to hear Michael Gongora is retuning to the City Commission since he is dedicated to the betterment of the beach & conservation of our environment. I am in favor of his stance on not wanting more overdevelopment & retaining quality of life for the residents of Miami Beach. I have worked with him on various projects & he always puts forth 100%. Yea Michael you've got my VOTE. Carla

Gongora should have been re-elected in the first place instead of that cheat Tobin. When will the voters of Miami Beach understand politics? Michael Gongora is a proven leader so let's all vote him back into office & let the guy lead.

I just googled Michael Gongora and DUI and found this from the SunPost:
Driving Politics

Nothing is off limits in this year’s contentious Miami Beach election; not even driving records.

On Monday, political consultant Irene Secada e-mailed to the SunPost incumbent Commissioner Michael Gongora’s official state of Florida driving record. Among a litany of speeding tickets that would make proud the producers of The Fast and the Furious, is a conviction for driving under the influence.

“I had a DUI conviction in 1994 when I was a student,” said Gongora, 37. “It’s not something I’m proud of.”

The incident occurred June 28, 1994, in Hillsborough County. There was an accident with property damage, and the young Gongora’s license was suspended for 180 days.

Closer to home, Gongora was charged with reckless driving in Miami-Dade County on Christmas Eve 2002. He was later convicted and received four points against his license.

“If he didn’t have friends and attorneys helping him, I guess he would have no driver’s license by now,” Secada said.

Ed Tobin, a political newcomer running against Gongora on what he sees as Gongora’s lack of ethics, said the driving record brings into question Gongora’s character.

“If he’s reckless behind the wheel, what else is he reckless with?” Tobin said.

jlo,

Hiding by fake inititals, huh? If your going to start slinging mud, at least try to dredge something up that's a little more 'fresh', like, oh, I don't know, Ed Tobin's recently filed ethics complaint.

Michael again? Hasn't he done enough damage? I am sad to see him attempt to make a comeback. He is abrasive and rude.
Truly Blue

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