BY LAURA ISENSEE
Voters chose new mayors in at least three Miami-Dade cities on Tuesday, as returns slowly trickled in from two dozen mayoral and city commission races from around the county.
Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay and North Bay Village had open mayoral seats because the incumbents were leaving office. In El Portal and Opa-locka, voters appeared poised to unseat the incumbent mayors.
Some of the races had quirky turns.
In Opa-locka, the mayoral race was a rematch between incumbent Joseph Kelley and Vice Mayor Myra Taylor. Both have served as mayor and faced off in 2006, when Kelley won. This time Taylor was leading, according to early results.
A victory would return Taylor to the office she was suspended from in 2004 after being indicted on felony charges of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Kelley took the spot that year in a special election. Taylor later pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge and has been working to rebuild her career.
In Miami Gardens, voters got a judge-ordered do-over for Council Seat 4. Early tallies gave Felicia Robinson, 39, a strong lead. The teacher previously won the most votes in an Aug. 24 election, but her opponent contested that election.
For mayor of Cutler Bay, leading early votes was Vice Mayor Edward MacDougall, 60, a former Miami-Dade police officer and owner of a real estate settlement service company. Council member Timothy Meerbott, 46, a senior division manager for Allstate Dealer Services, was trailing.
In Sunny Isles Beach, Mayor Norman Edelcup, 75, a certified public accountant, survived a challenge from property manager Michael Schnitzer, 52.
In Palmetto Bay, council member Shelley Stanczyk was leading the race for mayor. But a Nov. 14 runoff will likely be needed. Early results showed she was falling short of the majority vote needed to win the four-way race.
For North Bay Village’s new mayor, it was a tight race between Commissioner Reinaldo Trujillo, 66, and Corina Esquijarosa, 38.
In El Portal, Mayor Joyce A. Davis was unseated by Daisy Black, who served as mayor in the late 1990s, according to the complete but unofficial results.
• Cutler Bay Town Council Seat 1 strongly tilted toward first-time candidate and sales associate Mary Ann Mixon, 44.
• Doral was poised to get two new council members. For Seat 2, Luigi Boria, 52, an accountant and owner of a computer distributing company, was leading. For Seat 4, Ana Maria Rodriguez, 33, director of community and government affairs for Baptist Health South Florida, was ahead .
• El Portal Vice Mayor Harold E. Mathis Jr. staved off a challenge to keep Village Council Seat 1, according to the complete but unofficial results.
• Michael Davey, Jim Taintor and Mayra Peña Lindsay were leading a seven-way race for Key Biscayne Village Council. The three top voter-getters win the three open at-large seats.
• In Medley, former mayor Jack Morrow and political newcomer Gerardo Silva Jr. unseated two incumbents to win seats on the Town Council.
• For North Bay Village’s Harbor Island Commissioner, Eddie Lim was beating Silvio Diaz.
• For the two at-large seats on the Opa-locka City Commission, incumbent commissioner Dorothy “Dottie” Johnson, 59, led the vote. But it was a tight race between incumbent Timothy Holmes, 67, and former mayor John Riley, 66, for the second at-large seat.
• In a special election for Opa-locka commissioner, it was a close race between Gail Miller, 53, and Terence Pinder, 37.
Pinder was trying to regain the seat he lost when he was suspended due to pending criminal charges. Pinder awaits trial later this month on charges of filing a false campaign statement, official misconduct and grand theft. Miller was appointed by the governor to replace Pinder in 2007. Former police chief James Smith trailed behind both.
• For Palmetto Bay Village Council Seat 1, Patrick Fiore, 54, a manager with the state Department of Children and Families, was leading Bev Gerald, 65, retired office manager. He was shy of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff, however.
• For Palmetto Bay Village Council Seat 3, Joan Lindsay, 62, a retired math teacher, had a large lead over her opponent.
• Pinecrest Council Seat 4 went to Joe Corradino, 42, an urban planner.
• Sunny Isles Beach City Council Seat 2 was won by Jeanette Gatto, 56, an advertising executive.
• Attorney Jeniffer Viscarra, 37, led two other candidates for Sunny Isles Beach City Council Seat 4.
Miami Herald writers Danielle Alvarez, José Cassola. Karina Chavarria, Howard Cohen, Pamela Duque and Isadora Rangel contributed to this report.