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David Richardson moves on to runoff in race for Miami Beach Commission seat

Richardson most recently served in the state Legislature.

Former state Rep. David Richardson is going to a runoff after falling just short of a majority in the race for the Group VI seat on the Miami Beach Commission.

Richardson earned 49 percent of the vote Tuesday. He will compete against restaurant owner Adrian Gonzalez, who collected 38 percent of the vote.

Richardson was the most high-profile candidate among the four. The House District 113 seat that Richardson formerly held covers Miami Beach. He gave it up to compete in the 2018 primary for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

Richardson placed second in that contest to Donna Shalala, who went on to win the general election.

During the campaign, Richardson was endorsed by Group VI Commissioner John Alemán to be her successor. Group IV Commissioner Joy Malakoff also backed Richardson, as did Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

Richardson pulled in nearly $160,000 in fundraising.

But Gonzalez also raised a respectable $70,000. His family operates David’s Café in Miami Beach. During the race, Gonzalez criticized Richardson for being a career politician.

“I’m not a politician,” Gonzalez told the Miami Herald. “I’m just a person that wants to serve my community.”

The remaining two candidates are landlord Mohammed Rafiqul Islam and Blake Young, who works in sales.

They struggled to put up a fight Tuesday. Each has raised less than $7,000 in the contest. That translated to 9 percent for Young and just 3 percent for Islam.

The Group VI seat was one of three Commission spots up for grabs Tuesday. Miami Beach voters also had their say on a half-dozen ballot initiatives.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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