Orlando Lopez Reelected as Mayor of Sweetwater in Election Marked by Arrest

What to Know

  • Neither of the candidates for the city’s top post received enough votes during the May 14th election, forcing the runoff vote.

After several weeks of controversy in an election marked by an arrest, voters reelected incumbent Orlando Lopez as the mayor of Sweetwater.

With 100% percent of precints reporting, Lopez beat former Mayor Jose Diaz by 205 votes, according the Miami-Dade County Elections website. Out of 10,000 registered voters, less than 3,000 voted in Tuesday's runoff election.

"I'm feeling very ecstatic," Lopez said. "Obviously we knew there was going to be a very low turnout, we knew that a lot of the campaign stunts they pulled were going to dissuade voters. Luckily there were still 55% of the voters that saw beyond everything and voted to reelect me."

Mayor Lopez hopes to tackle budget in his second term and is looking forward to working with newly elected commissioners.

"I just congratulate the winner," opponent Diaz said. "I cannot say it was an equal battle."

Tuesday’s vote will end what turned into quite the wild ride for residents in the city after a man was arrested last week for allegedly filing a false report that his car was shot at while campaigning for Diaz.

Ricardo Rodriguez was charged with disorderly conduct after police found his statements about the shooting were inconsistent. He previously claimed that someone shot at the van, leaving two bullet holes in the driver's side door.

Diaz told NBC 6 last that he was not ruling out the possibility that his political rival, Mayor Orlando Lopez, or somebody else from his campaign was behind the shooting. Lopez disputed that claim and alleged that it was staged to boost Diaz's campaign.

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