• New County Leaders, Carpetbaggers And Lunacy 

    June 27, 2024
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    School Board Candidate Hayley Ross 

    The Hispanic Police Officers Association (HPOA) of Miami-Dade held a meet-and-greet event last night, providing a platform for candidates vying for various positions in the county.  The event was well-attended, with candidates from various backgrounds engaging in discussions with the heroic police officers present.  Among the most notable attendees were Hayley Ross, running for School Board District 3; Barbara Casanova, vying for REC State Committee Woman; Phil Ehr, a Democrat congressional candidate challenging Congressman Carlos Jimenez; and Sheriff candidate Susan Khoury, along with County Property Appraiser Marisol Zenteno. 

    Candidate Ross aptly emphasized her Hispanic background and 45-year Miami roots as her pillar for school safety and her support for well-trained, well-armed teachers in the classroom if they were inclined to help protect our most valuable resource, our children.  She was very well received, which bodes well for her. 

    REC State Committeewoman Cand. Barbara Casanova 

    Candidate Casanova clearly outlined the problems that exist with the Republican Party of Florida, which is managed by the county Republican Executive Committee.  These problems concerning lack of transparency and the adherence to the party’s bylaws and State law are her prime reasons for the run.  She was also well-received, and we would expect her to get the HPOA endorsement. 

    Sheriff Candidate Susan Khoury

    The reactions of the police officers present at the event provided valuable insight into the candidates’ potential support from the HPOA.  It was clear that Sheriff’s candidate Sandra Khoury was not well-received, with her wacky positions about reform and perceived disrespect towards the police officer’s inability to handle citizens with mental health issues.  The audience called her on the statement that she was running for the Sheriff “thing” because she was not elected as an MD County Commissioner in 2022.   No one mentioned her being Baker Acted in 2017 and the subsequent lawsuit she won in that regard.  Her connection with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, a prominent liberal progressive figure, could be a significant factor behind her extreme stances. 

    Democratic Congressional Candidate Phil Ehr 

    Congressional candidate Phil Ehr, who recently ran unsuccessfully against Congressman Matt Gaetz in the 2022 election, made an impression as a potential carpetbagger.  His presence at the event raised eyebrows, as Ehr appeared to be attempting to garner support from a different district after failing to secure victory in his previous endeavor.  Although Congressman Carlos Gimenez has many local detractors due to his insensitivities to local constituents and reputation as a self-interested lifelong politician, we do not feel that Ehr will get the HPOA endorsement or succeed in unseating Gimenez. 

    However, the event was not solely dominated by controversy.  Several conservative judges were warmly received by the police officers in attendance, sparking hope that they might secure endorsements from the HPOA.  Standing Circuit Court Judge Christopher Green and Former Judge Jason Bloch fell into this category.  These endorsements could prove crucial in their quests for office, given the significant influence and respect commanded by the Hispanic Police Officers Association. 

    In the race for County Property Appraiser, Marisol Zenteno relayed her expertise as a certified appraiser.  She will have a difficult time against former City of Miami Mayor and local media celebrity “Tomasito” Regalado, who has voiced several projected policies and exemptions that could help ease the burden on Miami-Dade homeowners.  Zenteno’s message was more like, “I will be fair, but it is what it is(paraphrase).”  

    As the race for various Miami-Dade positions heats up, the HPOA’s endorsement will undoubtedly play a crucial role in determining the outcome of these elections.  The association’s ability to rally support for candidates who share their values and vision will be a significant factor in shaping the future of the county’s leadership. 

    The HPOA’s meet and greet event has provided a valuable opportunity for candidates to showcase their policies and ideas to the dedicated police officers working tirelessly to keep Miami-Dade safe.  While some candidates have faced criticism for their extreme positions or perceived opportunism, others have emerged as potential allies for the police force, potentially securing the support of the influential Hispanic Police Officers Association. 

    As the election season progresses, the HPOA’s endorsements will be closely watched by both candidates and voters alike.  The association’s support for candidates who share their values and vision will undoubtedly prove significant in shaping the future of Miami-Dade’s leadership.  With the election drawing nearer, candidates will certainly be working hard to secure the HPOA’s endorsement, recognizing the immense value this support could bring to their campaigns. 

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    Douglass Ross

    Douglas J. Ross is originally from Wisconsin and is a long-time resident of Miami, Florida. He is a veteran Navy pilot from the Cold War period, having graduated from the US Naval Academy. After retiring as an international airline Captain, he now works as an Investment Advisor and also volunteers with Patriotic groups like the Convention of States and the Association of Mature American Citizens. In his free time, he enjoys writing.

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