As expected, Doral Councilman Luigi Boria was promoted to mayor Tuesday in a less-than-heated runoff race against former School Board Member Frank Bolaños — a letdown campaign in which the former spent more than half a million dollars (four fifths of it his own) for a $50,000-a-year job.
Is Ladra the only one who wonders what the return on his investment is going to be?
Boria — who paints himself as a humble man who has nothing better to spend his riches on — won decidedly with a near and 11-point lead, 56 to 45 percent, looking like each man took the 30 percent won by Councilman Pete Cabrera in the first round and split it in half.
The Evangelical minister praised God for his win at his victory party in the parking lot at Sedano’s on 58th Street, where his campaign office is. “Now the city will shine all over the world,” he said, and one has to wonder exactly what that means. Doesn’t Doral already shine internationally?
Tuesday’s election also showed similar numbers for Boria’s unofficial slatemates and the two other likelies Ladra had predicted: Christi Fraga beat out former Councilman Robert Van Name 56 to 44 in one seat and former Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz beat Elena Ortega-Tauler 55 to 45 in the other. And is it just Ladra or are there others anxious to see Ruiz and Bettina Rodriguez-Aguilar, her archnemesis from the city administration who a seat in the first round, working together at the dais? These council meetings just got funner.
There are other losers who were not on the ballot. Most notably: founding Mayor JC Bermudez, who banked his political stock on Bolaños. Still to be determined are if City Manager Ivonne Soler McKinley and the police chief — who are rumored to be joining the unemployed if Boria won — lose, too.
And Al Lorenzo, too. The beleaguered campaign dog — fired earlier this year from the campaign for Mayor Carlos “Not So Golden Boy” Gimenez for being involved in the absentee ballot fraud that erupted in Hialeah — lost this fight, which he could have and should have won. Blame this all on bad strategy. Ladra would be surprised if Al gets hired for any of the dozen or so municipal elections next year (more on that later). After all, he lost this race by 432 votes Bolaños (read: Lorenzo) just didn’t work hard enough to get. Votes like my friend Jackie’s, whose daughter takes Zumba lessons next door to Boria’s campaign office and has seen the councilman three or four times. She stares the guy straight in the face waiting for a hello and he just stares through her. She didn’t vote, however, but she could have been motivated to.
Maybe the people of Doral lost, too, if Boria and his new furry friends and his family — who bought property and formed what look like development companies within the last year — have something up their sleeve. I hope the new mayor doesn’t mind if my jaded, well, mind is suspicious. But this town is another one worth watching in the next few months to see what comes up — and what comes up that might be connected to his campaign crew.
Ladra used to like Luigi, despite his creepy smile and his arrogant sense of not caring what anybody thought. Heck, maybe because he didn’t care what anyone thought. He was like a breath of fresh air, with a sexy accent, in a stanky room. But when he surrounded himself with people like Absentee Ballot Queen Sasha Tirador — and I don’t care what anyone says, just because she’s becoming a mom doesn’t make her softer… she was someone’s baby once too — and ethically-lapsed former State Rep. Ralph Arza, I started feeling the heebie jeebies. Those two buddies of former Hialeah Mayor Julio “Need a Loan?” Robaina don’t do anything without a promised pot of gold at the end.
So don’t expect them to leave Doral. Not empty-handed. Not yet. Not now that they got their collective foot in the door.
But don’t worry. Ladra will have to stick around for a longer stroll now.
Btw, Boria is not the first Venezuelan elected to mayor in a U.S. city (now that was something to get excited about). Alas, there was already a Caracas-born mayor Wetbury, Connecticut: Phillip Giordano — who lost a 2000 U.S. Senate race against one-time VP hopeful Joe Lieberman — was born of Italian parents who came to this country when he was 2. He was also a former U.S. Marine an State Rep — and a convicted sex offender three years after he lost the race to Lieberman.
Giordano, 49, is currently serving his 37-year sentence at a high security federal prison in Illinois and is scheduled for release in 2033.
See? Miami’s not the only weird political place.