Miami – Voters in South Florida took to the polls yesterday to decide on the county's mayor as well as a number of other key races and primaries.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez won the election and secured his first full term in office.
Giménez beat out County Commission Chairman Joe Martínez and five others in Tuesday's election.
With all precincts reporting, Giménez finished with more than 54 percent of the vote, followed by Martínez with nearly 31 percent. The other five people running split about 15 percent of the votes.
By earning more than 50 percent, Giménez avoids a runoff election in November.
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Martínez, however, refused to concede Giménez’s high returns.
In the first year there were some big changes...Now we have to carry through those changes. We have to follow through on the reorganization. My big priority is going to be job creation and diversifying the economy.
- Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez
“I think it’s up to him. I think this is a pretty resounding victory. I would hope that he would [concede] and we would move forward as a community,” Giménez said, according to the Miami Herald.
Giménez first took office last summer, after former Mayor Carlos Alvarez was ousted in a recall. For the past year, Gimenez has been serving out the remainder of Alvarez's term.
“In the first year there were some big changes,” Giménez said. “Now we have to carry through those changes. We have to follow through on the reorganization. My big priority is going to be job creation and diversifying the economy.”
Along with Giménez’s victory, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle all but secured her sixth term in the post after defeating her Democratic primary opponent Tuesday.
Fernández Rundle basically clinched her sixth elected term because no Republican and independent candidates will oppose her in November.
“It’s about your record. It’s about your performance, the things you do every day working with victims in this community,” she said, according to the Miami Herald. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
In addition to these races, Joe García won the Democratic primary and will face off against Rep. David Rivera for a seat in Congress. Rivera, a popular figure among Miami’s Cuban exile community, faces a federal investigation in regards to a multi-count state indictment for campaign finance violations.
“No one should turn on their television, open up their newspaper or listen to the radio to find out their congressman is under FBI investigation," García told the Herald. "It’s time to turn the page and leave these scandals behind."
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.