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Challenger declares victory in Miami-Dade commission race

@doug_hanks @PatriciaMazzei

Daniella Levine Cava claimed victory Tuesday night against incumbent Miami-Dade Commissioner Lynda Bell after a costly race that divided along partisan and ideological lines, and ended with the former charity executive posting a small but stubborn lead against the one-term commissioner.

With 93 percent of the precincts reporting, Levine Cava led Bell by 680 votes out of more than 17,000 cast. Bell, who scheduled no post-election celebration, offered no remarks, and she and her aides did not respond to repeated telephone calls.

Should Levine Cava’s lead hold, it would mark a rare defeat for an incumbent county commissioner and reset the voting balance on the 13-member commission, strengthening its progressive wing.

Shortly after 10:20 p.m., Levine Cava took the microphone at her Palmetto Bay election party and declared victory in her run for elected office.

“The results are clear, and my platform is clear,” she told the crowd of supporters. “After a good night sleep, I am ready to go.”

More here.