Miami Shores residents appear to have elected three new faces to the Village Council Tuesday night. But one of those selections sits just one vote outside recount territory, and the cure process could close that gap further.
Four candidates were competing against each other for three spots on the Village Council in Tuesday’s election. According to the unofficial results, all four candidates were separated by fewer than 140 votes in the four-person field.
Sandra Harris, who formerly led Miami’s transportation department, earned 26.6% of the vote, with 1,154 votes. That put her atop the field Tuesday and in line to be the second Black Mayor ever in Miami Shores.
The top vote-getter is traditionally chosen by the Village Council to serve as Mayor. That would mean Harris would succeed Crystal Wagar, who became the first Black Mayor of Miami Shores in 2019.
Daniel Marinberg, a lawyer, placed second Tuesday, collecting 26.1% of the vote. With 1,131 votes, he fell just 23 short of Harris.
Both Harris and Marinberg seem secure in their wins Tuesday, but the third winner still has some waiting to do.
Katia Saint Fleur, a former legislative aide for Sen. Oscar Braynon II, sits in third, according to Tuesday’s unofficial results, with 23.91% of the vote. But fourth-place finisher, incumbent Council member Jonathan Meltz, earned 23.4% of the vote, putting him just outside the 0.5-percentage point margin that triggers a mandatory machine recount.
Saint Fleur’s 1,037 votes allowed her to top Meltz by just 22 votes, as he earned 1,015.
But as the Miami Herald reported, four ballots rejected for signature mismatches can still be cured by Thursday’s deadline. If those ballots further close the 0.51-percentage point margin between Saint Fleur and Meltz, it would push the results into machine recount range.
Should Saint Fleur hold on, she would become the first ever Haitian-American woman on the Council and give the Council a Black majority for the first time ever.