Newby leads cash race in Coral Gables 3-way contest for open seat

Newby leads cash race in Coral Gables 3-way contest for open seat
  • Sumo

Of the three candidates (so far) running for the open seat in April’s Coral Gables election, the newby handpicked by the incumbent is winning the money race.

In two months time, attorney Jorge L. Fors, who is backed by Commissioner Frank Quesada, who is not seeking reelection has raised almost $65,000. That’s incumbent money, $5K less than what has been raised so far by Commissioner Mike Mena, who isn’t facing an opponent yet, but who has been raising funds for eight months, not two.

While this is first-time candidate money, squeezed from relatives and coworkers and college buddies turned believers, this still could give Fors a significant advantage over both Commissioner Ralph Cabrera, and insurance benefits consultant who has raised only $8,670 so far, and former City Manager Carmen Olazabal, a onetime water carrier for the former city manager Pat Salerno, who only has $11,176, including a $5,000 loan from herself. The rest of her money is from outside Coral Gables — New York, Chicago, Boston, California and even Puerto Rico.

Fors has been better at shaking those trees. He raised $43,500 in his first month and another $21,350 last month. Much of it is from attorneys and law firms but there are no obvious bundles.

Fors has also spent the most so far, with $2,756 spent, including $1,000 on food and wine for an event and $825 on a walk piece by none other than Steve Marin.

Olazabal has spent almost $1,300, including $1,000 to Emiliano Antunez‘s Dark Horse Strategies for website services and consulting, even though word on the street is that Carmen Cason, left, the former mayor’s wife, is her campaign manager.

Cabrera has only spent only $35 so far but has Jorge de Cardenas, the mayor’s consultant, allegedly working on his campaign and a website coming soon.

While the mayor and Commissioner Mike Mena have not drawn any challenges, at least this open seat presents some interesting blogger fodder.

Perhaps a new reason to say thanks, Frank.


15 Responses to "Newby leads cash race in Coral Gables 3-way contest for open seat"

  1. Jackson Rip Holmes   December 12, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Thank you.

  2. Gonzalo Sanabria   December 12, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Good morning Elaine. I’ve met with Carmen Olazabal and I’m convinced she’s a “perfect fit” to fill my friend’s Frank Quesada’s spot as Frank has achieved tremendous strides in his various business startups. Olazabal is already magnetizing many key supporters in Gables and her Harvard and MIT credentials plus her working experiences with the City makes her the logic choice to elect a quailed woman who’s electable and a positive addition as Gables Commsr. If you meet/chat with her you’d be convinced Olazabal is the perfect “ticket”

    • Ladra   December 12, 2018 at 9:55 am

      Ay, Gonzalo. I remember Carmen well.

      Will we need to have Merrett Steirheim hold her hand again — at a cost of $50,000 to the city — because she is way in over her head?

      Will she start transferring people in retaliation for not being in line with Pat Salerno, who she held water for and kept secrets for when he was lying to the city commission?

      Will she suggest that Teresa Molina, the police officer who had to resign in shame after spying on residents in a commission meeting but who Olazabal once considered for police chief, come work as her assistant?

      Please, Gonzalo, the very fact that you support her works against Olazabal. Does she even know that you are posting in her favor?

      Because Ladra bets she asks you to stop.

  3. Manny   December 12, 2018 at 11:47 am

    I’m supporting Jorge Fors. I know him to be a smart, hardworking, and principled person.

    We need a fresh face to keep Coral Gables moving forward, not recycle old names from yesteryear (especially ones with baggage).

  4. Gonzalo Sanabria   December 12, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Ay Elaine. I see the angle you’re playing where “unbiased” (read hired) reporting is in obvious play
    That’s ok, true thinkers sand Gables voters will not be convinced as the calls I already got telling me @esta vendida” is the operative murmurs. Good luck with your candidate….. he’s got baggage galore

    • Ladra   December 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Ay, Gonzalo, I know it’s hard to understand but biased does not mean hired. I have never claimed to be “unbiased” and, in fact, am proud of the bias that comes with years of institutional knowledge, experience and sources who tell me what’s what. This year, I am not hired. But I still like Ralph. Because I know Ralph. Because I have seen him as a public servant.

      The only baggage Ralph has is from when he supported you for 5 minutes before he found out about your bankruptcy and shady real estate deals and the whisper campaign against your opponent. There is no baggage. You always say that and then can’t back it up with facts. Ralph has far more guts than you.

      Are you still sore from losing two commission races?

      Love, Ladra

  5. The Annex / The Parking Lot   December 13, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I hear George Merrick himself is rising from the crypt, in order to unseat some of these recycled candidates. The calendar on the wall may change, but Gables voters are chronically fishing from a very small pond of repeat candidates. What’s with that?

    Could someone else please verify that Commissioner Mena is disconnected from Gables voters and slow to reply to emails. I remember his campaign was all about engagement. It would be a shame if all these ‘fresh face’ / ‘new blood’ candidates eventually become the exact thing they vowed to fight originally (read: Greek Tragedy).

  6. TellingItLikeIs   December 14, 2018 at 1:01 am

    I like Ralph, and I hope he wins, but hiring “El Gordo” is not going to help matters.

  7. Tony & Dawn   December 14, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    …if war is the continuation of diplomacy, by other means, politics is the struggle for existence among diverse groups. De Cardenas service as a second is effective. Our next to last Mayor employed him in that role, the one with the military derived last name, for the horse drawn cart used to carry ordnance.

  8. Jeremy T   December 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Money vs hasbeen vs smarts – – -understandble that a smart electable woman like Carmen Olazabal has the usual suspects feeling threatened and criticizing

  9. Jose   December 17, 2018 at 3:47 am

    That was a good comment . I have noticed that there is tremendous reluctancy in ALL of Miami to look at new people .

    I live in a gated community in Doral where we have removed one corrupt board President after another and at the last meeting a lady made a great point .

    She said ” I don’t know if the new candidates will be less corrupt then those we already have on the board but I do know that if we stay with the current board members we are staying with corruption so we might as well try new people “.

  10. Tony & Dawn   December 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    …l’homme politicon…that’s what justifies our interest in these other lives? Now, let’s allude to French composer Paul Dukas’ Sorcerers’ Apprentice, and smile at all this!

  11. Gonzalo Sanabria   December 17, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Ay Ladra a 1991 bankruptcy over a small amount was actually completely filled out by me and fully complied with in order to come clean and settle the affairs of a partner who contracted AIDS and passed so I became the cross guarantor and I resolved it to my partners family benefit. After 1991 my business soared and my success was resounding as many banks came onboard and offered our firm substantial loan commitments that were fully paid off and all our properties at fully free and clear …… what a great country we live in huh?
    Soooooo “you like Ralphie”???? Has he lost his last two elections? But he’s better? Funny how u remember you Elaine and how I was approached by your neighbor and somebody begging on your behalf. Ya Ta Ladra…… get some “dientes”

    • Ladra   December 18, 2018 at 9:27 am

      No Gonzalo, I like Ralph because of his track record during three terms that he was elected for, unlike you.

      What you are is a bully and a bad liar. Neighbor? What neighbor? You sent me a Facebook message on Thursday saying that it was my own, sweet mother who “begged” you not to sue me in 2008, like you had any real legal standing. “I already had a complete folder with detectives,” you wrote me on Facebook, whatever that means. I’d love to see it.

      “I hope I am not pushed to do it this time,” you wrote. “I am warning you.”

      Oooooooh. I’m sooooo scared. By the way, consider this a push please. I want to see that non existing folder.

      My mom, of course, laughed when I mentioned this to her the other day. She never begged you for anything nor would she. You think you are the first person to threaten with a lawsuit without a leg to stand on. And I worked at the Herald then so why would she worry? She didn’t. You made it up.

      But it does say a lot about you that you would admit to reaching out and threatening my mother to further your political aspirations. Que poco hombre eres. No wonder your own family can’t freaking stand you.

      Readers ought to know that you contacted my mother on Facebook again the other day. Is that another veiled threat? Que comemierda eres.

      Be a big boy, Gonzo, and keep your fight with me. Any further contact with my mother on Facebook will be reported to the authorities as harassment.

      Portate bien, perro malo y feo.


  12. Gonzalo Sanabria   December 18, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    Oye Kadra sin dientes This is hilarious!!!! ….. your little quip on bankruptcy was the whisper you got from A.Gutz as if it was devastating revelations lol…. Oh….. go ask “your team” if they still have your background info stashed away….. De “comemierda” is one thing…. but smelling like it is your sole domain and trademark ……. Uffff, what’s that smell? ….. oh yes Elaine just walked by you