Esther Colon and Bryan Morera to vie in April 30 election for Council Seat 6

Government By Linda Trischitta and Alexandra Herrera Friday, April 12, 2024

     After the Miami-Dade County Elections Department did a machine recount of ballots from the April 9 special election, the two frontrunners will stay in the race for town council Seat 6.

     Just 10.52% of 20,004 eligible voters chose among five candidates in the special election and no one won more than 50%, so a run-off will be needed.

     On the ballot in the runoff election on April 30 are Bryan Morera and Esther Colon

     Also after the special election, it was too close to call the second and third place candidates, Colon and Hector Abad, prompting the recount.  

     The Canvassing Board –  Mayor Manny Cid, Miami Lakes Town Clerk and town Supervisor of Elections Gina Inguanzo and 11th Circuit Judge Eleane Sosa-Bruzon – certified the special election results after a machine recount of ballots on April 12. 

     The certified results show Colon beat Abad by eight votes; she finished 143 votes behind Morera.

     “I believe in the process,” Colon said after watching the certification at the elections office in Doral. “We have two more weeks of campaigning.”

     Morera said where he is in the race felt “great." 

     “I’m feeling that I’m carrying a lot of momentum,” Morera said. “Moving into the runoff, I’m looking forward to continuing to walk, to knock on Miami Lakers' doors.”  

     Abad said, “I wish the candidates well. I think whoever is chosen will do a good job.”

     As for his political fortunes, perhaps being a candidate in the November 5 race, Abad said, “Right now, I’m not planning on running in November or in ’26. You never know what life has ahead for you, but I’m not anticipating running in the future.”

     The winner of the April 30 runoff election will serve until November 2026 and will complete the term of former Vice Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who resigned in November.

     Colon, 70, is a former town manager in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and college professor who considers herself an expert in municipal finance. 

     She is a longtime volunteer for more than 20 organizations that serve the poor, children and elders, including the Zonta Club of Miami Lakes and the Cultural Affairs Committee, the Sheriff Ad Hoc Committee and the Miami-Dade County Commission for Women. 

     She was a 2023 Miami Lakes Women of Distinction recipient, recognized for her volunteerism. She stepped down from the Blasting Advisory Board to run for office.

     As of April 12, Colon has raised $9,100 for her campaign that she said came from individuals and that she has not taken money from political action committees. She says she is “endorsed by the residents of Miami Lakes.” 

     Morera, 32, is an attorney who practices business law at his own firm. He also has a business consulting service.  He is endorsed by Fla. Rep. Tom Fabricio, R-Miami Lakes; county Commissioner Sen. René Garcia; former councilman Frank Mingo and current council members Luis Collazo, Josh Dieguez and Marilyn Ruano. 

     Contributions for Morera as of April 12 were $20,110, with money coming from individuals as well as four political action committees: People for Accountable Government contributed $1,000; South Florida Vision, $750; New Dade PAC, $1,000 and Miami Realtors PAC, $1,000. 

     In their candidate questionnaires, the rivals differ on the top issues for Miam Lakes. Colon listed sidewalk repairs, drainage and traffic congestion. Morera said taxes, blasting and public safety are most important.

     Both candidates said choosing the rollback rate was the right decision by the incumbent council.

     Nelson Rodriguez came in fourth in the special election. On Facebook, the former vice mayor thanked his friends and family for their support and said, “Now back to my regularly scheduled retirement.”

     Political novice John Rogger finished fifth in the special election. 

     He said, “I’ll try again in four years.” 

     He is the media and public relations consultant for the South Florida Autism Charter School and also works in his family’s real estate company. 

     He resigned as chair of the town’s Special Needs Advisory Board to be a candidate and wants to return to it, “to help them and the community.”

     Voters have until April 18 to request a mail-in ballot. Seven precincts will be open on April 30 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 

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