Uncle Luke Snubs Gimenez, Endorses Robaina

Robaina picks up key endorsement

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Luther Campbell throws his surprising political influence behind Julio Robaina in the race for Miami-Dade County mayor.

    We're not sure if 2 Live Crew is in Julio Robaina's iPod playlist, but it might not be a bad idea for him to download a greatest hits album.

    On Thursday, Luther "Luke" Campbell, who was once a Robaina critic, endorsed the former Hialeah mayor to be the next mayor of Miami-Dade County.

    Just a day earlier, Robaina's opponent, former county commissioner Carlos Gimenez called a press conference to say Campbell was endorsing him.

    But Campbell, the former lead rapper for the controversial group 2 Live Crew, had other plans and said Thursday he never committed to backing Gimenez and that he only made his decision last night.

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    Julio Robaina and Carlos Gimenez face off before the June 28 election.

    Gimenez was less than thrilled to hear about Luke's announcement.

    "It is disappointing that Mr. Campbell would change course following our conversations and his indications earlier this week," Gimenez said ina statement. "Mr. Campbell and I had a frank discussion and agreed we were on the same page as to creating jobs and making community redevelopment agencies accountable to the communities they serve. However, I was not willing to do certain things that Mr. Campbell was asking."'

    Uncle Luke said the determining factor was Robaina's support for a redevelopment agency to fix up the Overtown area.

    Miami City Commissioner Richard Dunn also endorsed Robaina at the rally.

    Robaina and Gimenez will faceoff June 28 in a runoff election to replace ousted mayor Carlos Alvarez.

    Robaina was the leading vote getter in special election in May.

    Campbell grabbed 11 percent of the vote to finish in fourth place among 11 candidates and if his supporters follow his lead at the ballot box, it could provide a considerable boost for Robaina's bid.

    Last week, Marcelo Llorente, who finished third in the special election, endorsed Gimenez.