MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - After two Miami Beach mayoral candidates failed to secure the necessary threshold for the city’s top job, Tuesday’s decisive runoff election will determine the winner.
Former Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora aims to re-enter local government, while Miami Beach Commissioner Steven Meiner seeks to ascend to the mayoral role.
“I’ve been so focused on residents’ quality of life, law, and order being number one,” Meiner said.
“I wanna re-brand our city as one of arts and culture; I wanna make sure we have the police presence we need,” Gongora said.
The vacancy arose when current mayor Dan Gelber reached his term limit.
In the Nov. 7 election, only 242 votes separated the two candidates, each with multiple endorsements.
Recently, Meiner lost the endorsement of the Miami Herald, withdrawing support due to allegations of unwanted advances reported by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The advancements, according to the Herald, include that he “…allegedly tried to kiss a college-age SEC intern when they went out for dinner,” while another intern claimed, “…while she was at the SEC during law school about a decade ago, Meiner frequently texted her and made comments she saw as inappropriate.”
Meiner, responding to the allegations while campaigning at City Hall on Tuesday, stated, “No. No. No, but I’ve said that publicly, and it’s unfortunate that that’s what we’re dealing with.”
The Miami Herald also withdrew support for Gongora, citing incidents that “paint the picture of someone who seems willing to use his position in ways that harm public trust.”
According to the Herald, Gongora presented official city proclamations at private events, potentially giving the impression of city hall endorsement.
“You know, there are no rules about presenting these types of things,” Gongora said Tuesday. “We thought we were doing a nice thing by honoring businesses and people, but since I have a good record as an elected commissioner, people look for anything they can to try and attack you.”
Despite their differences, both candidates share a common focus on public safety.
“I’m ready to make sure we have more police out in the streets,” said Gongora.
“It’s not only police visibility, which is a big part of it, but it is making sure we prosecute our crimes,” Meiner said.
Polls close at 7 p.m.
Copyright 2023 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.