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Ousted Miami-Dade property appraiser drops lawsuit challenging election results in race against state lawmaker

Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia, who filed suit after losing the Aug. 14 primary, dropped his complaint Thursday, saying he did not have enough time to prove the election results were tainted by absentee-ballot fraud.

“We couldn’t find enough people, the necessary witnesses, in the extremely limited timeframe,” Garcia lamented. “These are not investigations one can do in 15 days, in 20 days.”

Garcia lost to state Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who received 51 percent of the vote compared to Garcia’s 49 percent. Had a court thrown out the absentee ballots cast in the race, Garcia would have won, because he received a majority of the vote during early voting and on Election Day.

“Though I disagreed with Mr. Garcia’s conclusions, I respected his right to pursue the case to his contentment,” Lopez-Cantera said in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to our mutual cooperation in an efficient and productive transition.’’ Garcia did not sound inclined to helping Lopez-Cantera ease into the job.

“I don’t think so,” Garcia said. “I got here by myself and learned by myself.”

Five defeated candidates had sued separately over the Miami-Dade primary results. The election took place shortly after two Hialeah ballot brokers were arrested and accused of voter fraud.

One by one, the candidates have dropped their cases; Garcia remained the lone holdout. More here.