After several failed attempts to return to public office in recent years, former state Sen. Alex Díaz de la Portilla has finally secured an elusive seat on the Miami City Commission.
With all precents reporting, Díaz de la Portilla earned 61 percent of the vote to Gabela’s 39 percent.
The District 1 seat became open due to Commissioner Wifredo “Willy” Gort being term-limited.
Díaz de la Portilla had sought a Miami City Commission seat before, losing out in a 2018 special election for the District 5 seat. He also lost a 2017 primary for the state Senate and a 2012 contest for state House.
His candidacy was a controversial one, as he racked up several complaints regarding his campaign practices during this election and during his 2018 candidacy.
Among those accusations were charges by prospective voters that they felt pressured by Díaz de la Portilla’s tactics. He denied those accounts, according to the Miami Herald.
“All these are made-up controversies,” Díaz de la Portilla said. “They can smear me all they want.”
Still, Díaz de la Portilla handily took the seat Tuesday night.
The city of Hialeah also decided a pair of runoff elections Tuesday, which were triggered after the Nov. 5 election for four seats on the City Council.
In Group II, Jesus Tundidor defeated Luis Gonzalez. Tundidor gathered 65 percent of the vote. Gonzalez pulled in just 35 percent.
And in Group III, Jackie Garcia-Rovers has garnered 54 percent of the vote. She will take the seat over Milly Herrera, who collected 46 percent of the vote.
The races for Group I and Group IV were already settled two weeks ago, with Monica Perez and Oscar De la Rosa winning those respective seats.