The deadline to qualify as a candidate in the upcoming Hialeah mayoral election passed Monday night, setting the stage for a fight between previous Miami-Dade Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Buffo and Isis Garcia Martinez, the first Hispanic woman to serve as Hialeah City Council president. .
With the November 2 elections still months away, the two favorite mayoral candidates The election has raised more than $600,000 in contributions between them. After the poll, 14 other candidates will contest three city council seats.
Bovo and Garcia-Martinez, both previous city councilors, are household names in Hialeah politics and are now vying for the seat of outgoing mayor Carlos Hernandez, although they will share space on the ballot with three lesser-known candidates with scant resources.
Fernando Godot, a Hialeah activist, also competent for the November ballot. In 2019, he became eminent in Florida’s sixth-largest city for leading a failed attempt to impeach Hernandez, launching a petition that collected more than 5,000 signatures accusing the mayor of “abuse of power and mismanagement.”
Also running for mayor are: Juan Jose Santana and Julio Jose Martinez. Santana previously ran for mayor in 2013 and 2017. Similarly, Martinez ran for the seat in 2013, appearing on the ballot alongside Santana in the nonpartisan primaries, both losing to Hernandez.
Santana and Martinez each reported raising less than $800, and Godo less than $100.
Buffo, a registered Republican who served as county commissioner from 2011 to 2020, and prior that as a state representative, reported a whole of $294,087 in official direct contributions by the end of June. Bovo’s Political Committee, A Better Hialeah, reported about $300,000 in cash to start the month Nearly $95,000 from the political committee that backed his failed bid for county mayor in 2020.
Garcia Martinez, who was a Hialeah board member from 2007 to 2019, slightly outperformed Bovo in official contributions, with a whole of $295,450 raised by the end of June. This includes the $150,000 of her own money that Garcia Martinez lent to her campaign final May.
A political committee called Keeping Citizens Informed, headed by its campaign manager, Sacha Tirador, reported another $22,000 in cash starting in July. Some Hialeah organizations – such as La Colonia Medical Center and Magic Towing & Recovery Inc. – have also contributed. and La Estrella de Oro Joyeria – which donated to the group in the Bovo campaign or political committee.
Tirador is elated of the contributions of Hialeah business owners to The campaign, saying the donations “proves that ISIS has powerful support within the city.” In the former, García Martinez has ridiculed Buffo’s race, calling it “alternative planAfter losing the county mayoral race.
“If you take a look at Steve Buffo’s PAC money, you’ll see that outside interests contributed to it,” Terador said Monday.
Meanwhile, Buffo’s side have largely held off the attack, telling the Herald in May that he had “nothing bad to say” about his previous council rival.
When asked about his approach to this unused phase of the race, Buffo told the Herald Monday, “I’ve been meeting and talking with the people of Hialeah for several months now and I’m very excited about the enthusiastic support for my campaign.” He said he plans in the coming months to emphasize “economic prosperity, public safety, and greater government accountability” as central to his vision for the city.
The ballot was dropped from the races’ most eminent mayoral contest for Hialeah City Council, which drew 14 registered candidates as of 5:30 p.m. Monday, half an hour prior the deadline to qualify.
Contending for the Group E City Council seat is current council member Carl Zogby, Salvador Blanco and Mayra Jimenez.
For the sixth group, which was left begin when Councilman Paul Hernandez chose not to seek re-election, Brian Calvo, Ramiro Colazo Moore, Angelica de Jesus Zinés Pacheco, Hector Abel Céline and Eduardo Francisco Santistiban were on the ballot.
In Group G, a seat unoccupied by Limited-Time Council member Catherine Que Fuente, six candidates submitted the qualifying list: Milagros Herrera, Michael A. Horgan, Abdul Jimenez, Christopher Monzon, Luis Manuel Rodriguez and Maylin Villalonga.