MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - The top two candidates in Miami Beach’s mayoral race will have to campaign for a little while longer because they’re headed to a runoff.
The contest will pit Commissioner Steven Meiner against former three-term Commissioner Michael Gongora.
Speaking with 7News on Wednesday, both candidates stated their case as to why they should be the people’s choice.
“Well, I’ve been at the forefront. Actually, a lot of residents call me the ‘law and order commissioner’; I’m gonna be the law and order mayor,” said Meiner.
“Nobody can say that I did not serve the city of Miami Beach honorably and with a very strong work ethic,” said Gongora, “and I’m ready to get to work for the voters from day one, making Miami Beach better and safer.”
Turnout in the off-year election was predictably low. A mere 13,000 voters went to the polls.
Neither candidate cracked the 50 plus 1% threshold Tuesday evening to avoid the Nov. 21 runoff election.
Meiner earned a but more than 30% of the vote, while Gongora earned 28%. The candidates were separated by less than 250 votes.
“I actually had the most votes last night. I’ve been so focused on residents’ quality of life, law and order being number one,” said Meiner, “eliminating overdevelopment, trying to mitigate our traffic, but really focusing on the needs of our residents and our voters, and our residents recognize that.”
“I hope the voters come back out one more time,” said Gongora. “This election matters.”
Gongora and Meiner advance to the next round, handily defeating former MTV executive Bill Roedy and former commissioner and Florida State Rep. Michael Grieco.
Incumbent Mayor Dan Gelber was term-limited and couldn’t run again.
Early voting for the runoff election begins Nov. 17 and runs through Nov. 19.
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