A North Miami mayoral candidate who said she secured an endorsement from on high finished far back in Tuesday's election.
The top two vote-getters, Kevin Burns and Lucie Tondreau, advanced to a June 4 runoff for mayor, city spokesperson Pam Solomon said. Former mayor Burns received 2,254 votes (33.2 percent) in Tuesday's election, while Tondreau had 1,870 votes (27.6 percent), according to unofficial Miami-Dade Elections Department results.
Anna Pierre, a registered nurse who claimed she was being endorsed by Jesus Christ, finished last among the seven candidates with 56 votes, or just 0.83 percent.
"Yes, Jesus endorsed me!" Pierre said during a stop at the Gwen Margolis Community Center Tuesday morning as the polls opened. "I'm not nuts, if I'm a freak and nuts for Jesus, let it be! Let the world know that Jesus is it and when you have Jesus on your side you can go on."
Pierre previously claimed she was being intimidated with voodoo tactics.
The Jesus claim was made on a campaign flyer posted to Pierre's Facebook page that reads "Anna Pierre, RN, is endorsed by Jesus Christ" and features a photo of the savior.
Pierre said the endorsement came to her in a revelation while on the campaign trail as she's been competing against six other candidates.
"I don't know about if he likes me more, but what I can tell you, I know he loves me very much," Pierre said. "If it wasn't for the love of Jesus I wouldn't be standing here today."
Smith Joseph was third in the mayoral race with 1,561 votes and 23 percent of the field, followed by Gwendolyn "Gwen" Boyd (555 votes, 8.2 percent), Jean Rodrigue Marcellus (374 votes, 5.5 percent), and Modira Escarment (116 votes, 1.7 percent) in sixth place.
North Miami's election also did not produce winners in its two City Council races, as no one earned the 50 percent plus one votes needed for victory, Solomon said.
As a result, Carol Keys and Mary Irvin will compete in a runoff for the District 2 seat on June 4, with one of them to replace Councilman Michael Blynn, who finished third on Tuesday. In District 3, Philippe Bien-Aime and Jacques Despinosse will go head to head.
In another South Florida municipal election on Tuesday, Isolina Marono defeated Deborah Centeno to win the Group 4 seat on the Sweetwater City Commission. Marono received 1,065 votes while Centeno had 406, according to unofficial results.
Marono, the mother of Mayor Manny Marono, was appointed on an interim basis last year to fill the seat left vacant by the late Vice Mayor Ariel Abelairas, The Miami Herald reported. Her victory for a four-year term Tuesday came in the only contested election in Sweetwater, as commissioners Orlando Lopez (Group 1), Jose Bergouignan (Group 2) and Jose Diaz (Group 3) retained their seats without opposition.
The failed Sun Life Stadium referendum also received some attention Tuesday, as the Miami-Dade Elections Department released a partial tabulation of early voting and absentee ballots that were cast on the stadium renovation proposal, as well as Election Day ballots on it from North Miami and Sweetwater.
Fifty-seven percent or 34,780 voters said they were against the proposal, while 43 percent, or 25,898 voters, were for it.
Salaries of South Florida Mayors
Last month in North Miami, Pierre, a Haitian native who recorded a hit pop song before coming to America, claimed someone had placed voodoo artifacts outside the door of her campaign office.
The items included candles, food and dolls with pins stuck in them, said Pierre, who believes one of her opponents may have been behind the intimidation.
"The voodoo stuff, I don't know who's doing it, but I'm not afraid," she said at the time. "It's just intimidation to ... slow me down. But you know what? I'm not going to slow down until the finish line."
Voters Tuesday remained slightly skeptical of the Jesus endorsement.
"Well, I thought 'I wonder if I ought to vote for this person to maintain the cosmic balance,'" Grover Rawlings said. "I mean, I want to stay on the good side, it's a pretty powerful endorsement if it's true."
Others took the self-proclaimed revelation sincerely.
"Well, like I said, I'm Christian and if she believes it, I've never heard it before, but you know, she could've been," Ann Simpson said.
Burns didn't have much to say about Pierre's Jesus claim.
"I can't even touch that one," he said.
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