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A socialist Miami mayor? 1,393 voters said yes.



In South Florida, where exile politics still weighs heavy, Tuesday's election in the city of Miami had a surprising result.

Not the mayoral election of Francis Suarez, born the son of Cuban exiles and a lock to win the election. But the 1,393 votes cast for his closest competitor, Socialist Workers Party candidate Cynthia Mason Jaquith.

That's 5.5 percent of the vote.

Jaquith, 70, ran a bare-bones campaign that reported just $102 raised the Friday before the election. During a candidates' interview with the Miami Herald Editorial Board, she suggested the city look to communist Cuba for inspiration on good governance.

So, is Miami slowly warming to big government? Or did Jaquith get votes as the only woman on the ballot and a candidate eligible for all anybody-but-Suarez votes.

In an interview Thursday, Jaquith said she got a good reception while door-knocking during the campaign, but isn't making a big deal of the results, which still amounted to less than 1 percent of Miami's registered electorate.

"The great majority of workers we spoke to said 'Yes, we need a different party, not Democrat or Republican.' We talked about building a workers party," she said. "But I wouldn't say this now proves something."