A voter fraud controversy in Hialeah continues to brew, right up until the very last hour.
Incumbent Carlos Hernandez won Hialeah’s mayoral runoff election by a landslide on Tuesday.
Hernandez and veteran Hialeah politician Raul Martinez had been in a fierce battle for the seat. But with 52 of 52 precincts reporting, Hernandez stole the race with 60.84 percent of the vote, while Martinez got 39.16 percent.
The two candidates have been trading barbs and lobbing allegations, with each accusing the other of committing voter fraud.
The Miami Herald reported that Martinez conceded after absentee and early voting results showed that his opponent led.
Martinez said “I’m not going to keep you waiting. The city has spoken,” the Herald reported.
“I thought we had a message about the organization of this city. The town has decided that they want to keep up with this system,” the Herald quoted Martinez as saying. “Hopefully I will see the city progress and I won’t have to be involved with telling people, ‘I told you so.’”
Martinez said he wanted to address absentee ballot issues with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Wednesday, the Herald reported.
In addition to selecting a mayor, Hialeah voters picked council members in Groups 1, 3 and 6. Lourdes Lozano won Group 1 with 61.17 percent, Vivian Casals-Munoz won Group 3 with 67.49 percent and Paul “Pablito” Hernandez won Group 6 with 58.86 percent.
The results will be made official Friday after the canvassing board certifies them.
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