With a strong 45% of the vote, former Mayor Joe Rasco took frontrunner status in the race for Key Biscayne mayor Tuesday. He will face off against Fausto Gomez, a former lobbyist and condominium leader, who earned 29% of the vote.
Katie Petros, a former council member whose relatively late entry triggered the primary, fell short with 26% of the vote.
The 38% turnout was a record for Key Biscayne in a primary election and also was the highest precinct in Miami-Dade County, with 3,072 people casting ballots. Results were delayed for about an hour after an initial report only showed a small fraction of the in-person election day vote totals. But there were no issues reported with the tally, said Elections Department spokeswoman Suzy Trutie.
“I am humbled by the support from the residents. It was a fantastic turnout,” Rasco said. “We engaged with the residents, and they responded.”
In a statement, Gomez said “I want to thank my neighbors on Key Biscayne who by their votes showed confidence in our ability to move our community forward.”
Petros issued a statement after her loss saying she was “appreciative of the support I received” and wished the other candidates luck.
The island’s first primary since 1998 has been nasty at times, with negative mailers from political committees attacking both Gomez’s and Rasco’s records. Campaign spending has been high. Financial filings show Rasco spending $43,573, Gomez spending $23,432, and Petros spending $15,357 through the most recent reporting period.
In other races followed closely on Key Biscayne:
- Incumbent School Board Member Mari Tere Rojas fended off a challenge from Key Biscayne K-8 teacher Sandra Manzieri, winning 64% to 36%
- A.J. D’Amico won the Democratic nomination for Florida House District 113, defeating Andres Althabe 68% to 32%. Vicki Lopez won the Republican nomination, beating Alberto Perosch 66% to 33%. The seat is currently held by State Rep. Nick Duran, who did not seek re-election.
- For U.S. Congress, State Sen. Annette Taddeo won the Democratic nomination, handily defeating Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell and progressive Angel Montalvo. She will face incumbent Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, who easily won her primary, defeating challenger Frank Polo.