For the second time in less than a week, Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Raquel Regalado has lost her bid to have challenger and incumbent Mayor Carlos Gimenez removed from the ballot.
A Miami-Dade judge ruled Thursday against Regalado, who argued that Gimenez should have been disqualified after putting the wrong date on a check he wrote to the Supervisor of Elections office. A previous case had been dismissed on Monday, but Regalado’s legal team was given a chance to re-file their case.
In the second ruling Thursday, Judge Michael Hanzman concluded that “it is time for Plaintiff (Regalado) to make her ‘argument’ to those who have the power to place her in office – the voters.”
The daughter of the mayor of Miami, Regalado qualified for a runoff with Gimenez after both failed to get 50 percent of the vote during the primary in August.
"This morning, a Circuit Court Judge dismissed the latest frivolous lawsuit filed by my opponent in the Miami-Dade County mayoral election. While we certainly welcome the dismissal, it is unfortunate that Ms. Regalado was trying to use the court system, instead of the ballot box, to become Miami-Dade County Mayor," Gimenez said in a statement. "Through this desperate lawsuit, Ms. Regalado was hoping to suppress the votes and disenfranchise half a million county residents who cast their votes by sending their ballots via mail and participating in Early Voting. That is not only undemocratic, it is also unbecoming of someone aspiring to become Miami-Dade's highest-ranking elected official. What Ms. Regalado was arguing would also make the process less democratic by limiting the amount of candidates that would qualify for election to any office."
"The Court's decision today reaffirms my unwavering commitment to ensure a truly independent and professional Elections Department and as Mayor, I will ask the voters to amend the Charter of Miami-Dade County to elect the Supervisor of Elections and remove that office from under the influence and control of the Mayor," Regalado said in a statement. "I maintain that the residents of Miami-Dade County deserve to know about the influence that the Mayor has over the Elections Department,” Regalado said. “Nevertheless, we remain focused on defending our residents and winning this election so that we can elevate the quality of life, wellbeing and personal safety of all Miami-Dade county residents."