Government Gangster Disruptor Christi Tasker Qualified To Replace Ken Russell
15 Candidates + 1 Coveted Miami District 2 Commission Seat Is Going To Get Intense
According to the Miami Herald on JANUARY 18, 2023
Here’s one prediction about the upcoming race to replace Ken Russell on the Miami City Commission: It will be fast and furious.
That’s because there are 15 candidates on the ballot, a little more than 30 days to campaign and no runoff. Candidates have little time to make an impression on voters before a special election on Feb. 27. Russell had to resign following an unsuccessful bid for Congress.
It’s heartening to see so many people exercising their right, and their desire, to seek public office and represent the people. So, fast and furious, yes, but we hope civility rules the process.
We get that this is a primo district, encompassing some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods and high-profile projects.
Still, this high number is likely a record for this District 2 seat, which includes parts of Coconut Grove, Brickell, downtown Miami, Edgewater and Morningside.
Why do so many want this seat? Are we missing something about this nonpartisan free for all? The lack of a strong, well-known candidate in the race has given it an anyone-can-win feel, which is a good thing. No one is automatically entitled to the seat.
One Miami commissioner, Alex Diaz de la Portilla, gives two theories for the high turnout of candidates: District 2 is a diverse district, running from the Upper East Side to the West Grove; and residents want more-effective representation for their neighborhoods.
”We have a lot of different people living in that district, and these candidates want a say on the commission,” he told the Editorial Board.
There are 105,000 residents and around 52,000 registered voters in District 2. Turnout is traditionally about 8%, which offers a sobering reality: A candidate may need just about 1,000 votes to win.
Whoever wins needs a strong constitution and a thick skin. City of Miami Commission meetings can be rousing events that go late into the night. Tempers flare, and insults fly. Residents have seen some commissioners throw some low blows on the dais, unfortunately. (We’ll refrain from calling any names.)
Here are the District 2 candidates looking to join the fray:
Sabina Covo, former television journalist and director of Hispanic media relations for Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; she is also a former el Nuevo Herald columnist.
Michael Goggins, wealth management professional
Javier Gonzalez, real estate agent and previous District 2 candidate in 2019
Lior Halabi, digital marketing professional
Alicia Kossick, proprietor of Polished Coconut in the Grove
Eddy Leal, attorney on Miami mayor’s staff
Max Martinez, founder and creative director of marketing agency Maxfuture and a former mayoral candidate in 2021
Lorenzo Palomares, attorney
Renita Ross Samuels-Dixon, former Coconut Grove Village council member
June Savage, real estate agent and Miami Beach mayoral candidate in 2017
Kathy Parks Suarez, auto dealer
Christi Tasker, business and marketing consultant
James Torres, president of the Downtown Neighbors Alliance
Mario Vuksanovic, a former homeless outreach worker for the city
Martin Zilber, a former Miami-Dade judge who resigned from the bench in May 2021 amid allegations of misconduct. As reported by the Herald, a state judicial committee investigation was dropped when he resigned. Last year, a Florida Bar inquiry found no probable cause to sanction him.