Miami Beach’s mayoral race is headed to a runoff election as none of the four candidates received the required 50% plus one vote total in Tuesday’s election.
Steven Meiner and Michael Gongora will face off in the runoff after unofficial results from the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections showed them as the top two vote-getters.
The runoff election will take place in a few weeks, on November 21st. The winner will replace Dan Gelber, who has held the office since 2017 but was prevented from running again due to term limits.
Meiner, an attorney, left his post as Miami Beach’s Group 4 commissioner to run for mayor.
“I really felt the whole time that what I was doing was going to resonate,” Meiner said Tuesday night. “And I’ll tell you, I sent out these flyers that were four pages long talking about the problems and people were telling me, ‘What are you doing? This is not the way campaigns are run’. I thought, ‘No, I think people are going to read this, they’re going to read what I write, they’re going to read about these important issues, we’re going to make our city safer and cleaner and really focus on residents.'”
Gongora, also an attorney, served as Miami Beach commissioner three times, from 2006 to 2007, from 2009 to 2013 and from 2017 to 2021.
“I am beyond grateful to advance to the next round in this important race, and I look forward to continuing to share my vision and hopes for the future of Miami Beach,” Gongora said in a statement Tuesday night. “Over the past year and during my time serving the community as a member of the City Commission, my top priority has been to engage with as many residents as possible, as often as possible, to understand their concerns and desires for our community.”
Mike Grieco, a former member of the Florida House of Representatives and former Miami Beach commissioner, and former MTV executive Bill Roedy finished in the top two.
Three of Miami Beach’s six commission seats were also up for debate in Tuesday’s election.
For Meiner’s Group 4 seat, former marketing executive and Miami Beach Planning Board vice chair Tanya Katzoff Bhatt was the obvious winner ahead of real estate agent and business consultant Andres Asion.
In the Group 5 race, marketing director David Suarez was the obvious winner over hotel owner and former Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board chairman Mitch Novick.
For Group 6, Miami Beach Planning Board member Joe Magazine had a narrow lead over activist and City of Miami Beach Chair of Art in Public Places Marcella Novela.