The Miami-Dade mayoral race won't be decided until November after Mayor Carlos Gimenez finished short of the 50 percent needed to win Tuesday.
With all precincts reporting, Gimenez had a little less than 48 percent of the vote. His main challenger, former Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado, had about 32 percent.
The two will now go head-to-head against each other on November 8th, the same day voters will choose the next President as well as races for the U.S. House and Senate
"I was expecting to get more than 50 percent today. What happened was I don't think anybody really accounted for Frederick Bryant with almost 9 percent. That was the difference, nobody really saw that coming," Gimenez said.
Despite falling behind Gimenez, Regalado called Tuesday's primary a victory in a statement.
"We know people are not happy with the status quo, that residents are not satisfied with the level of services and the pay-to-play politics that permeates our county government," Regalado said. "We know that we can do better. And, apparently, so do voters."
The mayor's race is non-partisan and featured a total of seven candidates, but it was a showdown between Gimenez and Regalado.
Both candidates spent Tuesday greeting voters at different polling places throughout the county and encouraged residents to vote.
"It is a right that was paid for in the blood of a lot of people, a lot of veterans that came before us and it's really our duty to them," Gimenez said.
"It's such an important election. I truly believe that today will change the course of our county and I hope to have the support of all those that are watching," Regalado said.
Regalado, 42, practiced law for eight years before joining the school board. She's also the daughter of current City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.
Gimenez, 62, was elected mayor in 2011 during a special election following the recall of former mayor Carlos Alvarez. Gimenez won reelection in 2012 with 54 percent of the vote. He is a former Miami fire chief, Miami city manager and Miami-Dade County commissioner.
Regalado touts her record on the school board, where she spearheaded a plan to replace old school buses and helped improve the district's social media policy. She's been critical of Gimenez and what she calls the "institutionalized chaos" in Miami-Dade.
"I want to make the mayor's office more than just about giving contracts to friends, but about advocacy," Regalado said. "People are coming out, they want a change and we hope to win this tonight."
Gimenez points to his record of tax cuts, including the largest tax cut in county history. He also lauds improvements to the county's transportation system under his leadership.
"My vision is economic development, jobs for everybody, and obviously we have to do something about transportation," Gimenez said.
Five other Miami-Dade mayoral candidates qualified for the ballot including Alfred Santamaria, Frederick Bryant, BJ Chiszar, Miguel Eizmendiz, and Farid Khavari.