Suspended Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman Loses Election in Attempted Return to Office

He finished third of four candidates Tuesday night

Suspended Homestead mayor Steve Bateman said he planned on getting his job back – but he was knocked out of the mayor’s race in a primary Tuesday night.

Bateman finished third of four candidates in the city’s mayoral primary. He received 513 votes, behind former Councilman Jeff Porter (903) and Mark Bell (814), who advanced to the Nov. 5 general election, according to unofficial results. Bell is the husband of a former Homestead mayor and current Miami-Dade County commissioner, Lynda Bell.

Joseph Sewell was fourth with 198 votes.

Bateman was suspended from office by Gov. Rick Scott following his arrest on charges of unlawful compensation. He is accused of using his elected position to get a secret job in a corporation that had business before the city. He told NBC 6 this week that there wasn’t anything secret about it and that he plans on proving his innocence.

Meantime, voters in Miami Lakes elected former mayor Wayne Slaton as that town’s new leader on Tuesday. He replaces former mayor Michael Pizzi, who Scott also suspended from office recently.

Slaton, who received 1,626 votes in unofficial results, defeated Nelson Hernandez (1,127), Luis Espinosa (383), Dave Bennett (250) and Edwin Romero (8). He becomes mayor again after five years out of office, the Miami Herald reported.

Miami Lakes held its special election after Scott suspended Pizzi when he was arrested on public corruption charges. Pizzi and Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Marono were arrested Aug. 6 following an undercover FBI operation that also produced the arrests of two lobbyists.

Pizzi insists that he is a victim and will be exonerated.

Voters in Homestead also re-elected Councilman Elvis Maldonado to Seat 5. The top two vote-getters in a five-way race for Seat 5, Councilman Jimmie Williams III and former councilman Norman Hodge Jr., will face off Nov. 5, the Herald reported.

Voters in Miami Lakes elected Frank Mingo to their council’s Seat 4. He narrowly defeated Lorenzo Cobiella, with Star Rodriguez coming in third.

Turnout was 20 percent in Miami Lakes, and 11 percent in Homestead.

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