Alex Díaz de la Portilla finally wins Miami Commission seat; Hialeah Council runoffs also decided
The political future of Alex Díaz de la Portilla will be determined in a special runoff election.

Alex Diaz de la Portilla
Díaz de la Portilla defeated his opponent, Miguel Gabela, Tuesday night.

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.

Díaz de la Portilla emerged from a seven-person field on Nov. 5. He was able to top former Miami Planning and Zoning Board Member Miguel Gabela in the Tuesday runoff election.

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.

Ryan Nicol

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 [email protected].


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