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Miami Herald

Russell (who else?) takes Miami District 2 Commission election

by David Smiley

Once underfunded and overlooked, Ken Russell was told he only needed one vote Tuesday to win Miami’s powerful District 2 commission seat. He received 2,700, ending what will surely go down as one of the most convoluted elections in Miami history with an exclamation point.

“Despite the big names, despite the big special interests, a yo-yo playing surfboard salesman was somehow able to become your commissioner,” Russell said during a victory speech at the Grove Spot Tuesday night that began with an emphatic “whooo!” and ended with two hands flashing rock-n-roll signs as AC/DC’s Back in Black began to play. “Money and special interests didn’t elect me, you did. So I can promise they won’t guide me, you will.”

Russell, who was outspent roughly five times over by Sarnoff leading up to the general election, said it’s likely he’ll be sworn in Nov. 25, the earliest he can be placed into office for his four-year term. He told the dozens who attended his election party — including Mayor Tomás Regalado and Commissioner Francis Suarez — that he’s dreaming of transportation solutions, extra green space and a more ethical and collaborative government.

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CBS Miami

Miami & Miami Beach Reach Finish Line After Runoffs For Commission Seats

Miami and Miami Beach have reached the finish line after runoffs for their final commission seats.

Ken Russell, who was running for the District 2 seat, coasted to an uncontested victory Tuesday night.

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Miami New Times

Miami Election Results: Ken Russell Makes it Official

by Kyle Munzenrieder

Both candidates will be serving in political office for the first time, and will undoubtedly bring a fresh prospective to their respective commissions. 

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CBS Miami

Polls Open In Miami

Polls are open in Miami and Miami Beach for voters to decide a pair of run-off elections.

Voters in Miami will cast ballots for a new District 2 commissioner. Ken Russell will win the seat because his opponent, Teresa Sarnoff, withdrew last week. The city said votes for Sarnoff won’t count, but the election must be held.

The polls will close at 7 p.m. 

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Miami Herald

Miami will still vote in District 2 race

by Joey Flechas and David Smiley

In Miami, voters from Coconut Grove to Morningside will choose a new District 2 commissioner, although the election's outcome has already been determined after Teresa Sarnoff withdrew last week, leaving Ken Russell as the only candidate still in the running. The city says votes for Sarnoff won't count, but law requires that the election must be held. Russell will succeed Sarnoff’s husband, term-limited Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters can find sample ballots, poll locations and other election information at http://www.miamidade.gov/elections.

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Blog: Only In Miami

Miami Election Tomorrow, Voters Should Hit Polls

by Grant Stern

Ken Russell is a first time politician and underdog candidate for Miami’s influential District 2 Commissioner’s seat.

Now Russell’s left fighting a local political machine to the end with lawyers and memos instead of just the usual campaigning for votes – which he’s been doing cheerily under the stressful circumstances.

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el Nuevo Herald

SABINA COVO: The odd choice of Russell vs.Russell

District 2 of the city of Miami is one of the most important at this time. All districts are important. But this particular one is leaving a lot of money in the city, and needs a lot of planning, analysis and approval or disapproval of relevant changes that are occurring. There are about 18 new skyscrapers in the district and is expected to come more than five. Giant buildings, condominium prices up $ 750.000. Imagine that is on property tax! Not to mention the necessary (police, firefighters, etc.) planning. To accommodate all these people.

If you are as confused as I am with this situation or my article, be sure to pay close attention to this election on Tuesday. (If that is done, there is nothing written in stone). For now, if you planned to vote, get out and vote, that if people do not leave because of the confusion that has been the surprise reaction Teresa Sarnoff, who wanted so much to be commissioned, but it does not want, will be worse. Strategies side policies?

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Miami Herald

Russell’s rejection of $77,000 a window into hectic week after Miami election

by David Smiley

For Ken Russell, it was a whirlwind 72 hours.

First, the underdog candidate emerged from a Nov. 3 general election as the heavy favorite to win the city’s powerful District 2 commission seat. Then, his phone began to ring off the hook with requests for interviews and meetings, to the point he simply bought a new phone.

And finally, after his lone remaining opponent dropped out of the race, the money poured in, much of it solicited by Commissioner Francis Suarez, Commissioner Frank Carollo and Mayor Tomás Regalado. In just a matter of days, Russell, suddenly Miami’s most popular politician, had nearly doubled what he’d raised in eight months.

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Blog: Engage Miami

Starting Anew in D2

by Leah Weston

The bottom line: this upcoming Tuesday, November 17th, a runoff election will take place between Ken Russell and Teresa Sarnoff for the District 2 seat! We believe it is crucial for District 2 residents to participate in this election, as the legal status of the votes still remains unclear. Although prior court decisions guided the City Attorney’s legal opinion, the fact remains that this particular situation has not been tested in court. If you haven’t sent in an absentee ballot, take a few minutes and show up to your polling place on Tuesday. The mere the act of showing up announces our generation’s commitment to paying attention and participating in our city’s future. Democracy is counting on you. (No pressure).

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Miami New Times

Ken Russell Says He's Giving Back $77,000 He Raised After Besting Sarnoff

by Tim Elfrink

For months leading up to the District Two commission race, Ken Russell's fundraising lagged far behind his chief rival, Teresa Sarnoff. By election day, he'd hauled in just $158,560 compared to Sarnoff's $747,000 war chest.

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Blog: Not Now Willy

Interview With District 2's Ken Russell

by Headly Westerfield

I originally met potential Commissioner-elect Ken Russell way back when -- during Soilgate -- when I called out of the blue to interview him.

While it appeared as if Merrie Christmas Park would be re-mediated properly, I was surprised when he moved on to his next concern, which was all the other toxic parks in the city. Russell was genuinely concerned that those residents might not have enough clout, or enough money, to hire a lawyer like he and his neighbours had. That's when I knew Ken was about far more than his own property values. He had a Social Justice bone. 

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Miami Herald

From written-off to victorious: How Ken Russell shocked Miami

by David Smiley

The first clear signs that the campaigns with all the money and power had erred by not giving more credence to the chances of the scion of a Miami yo-yo empire arrived in the days before the election.

One by one, in numbers that grew slowly until they couldn’t be ignored, voters from Coconut Grove, downtown and Edgewater straggled to the polls during early voting — not to support the city commissioner’s wife or the mayor’s top pick but for Ken Russell, the charismatic water sports wholesaler trailing in the polls.

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Miami Herald

Editorials: Runoff results — known and unknown

Voters in District 2 should not sit out the runoff, even though the result now, is a foregone conclusion. They have a duty to go to the polls and cast a ballot, if only to maximize the clout that they have on the commission dais. Despite Ms. Sarnoff’s official withdrawal, which she submitted by letter on Tuesday, the district’s new commissioner requires a solid foundation from which to legislate, and that can only come from becoming its duly elected representative.

"So, for the Miami City Commission District 2, the Herald recommends KEN RUSSELL."

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HUFFPOST MIAMI

Ken Russell: Divine Secrets of the Yo-Yo Brotherhood

by J.J. Colagrande

This is part of the unlikely story of Ken Russell, the paddle-board wholesaler and once internationally known yo-yo player, who is now engaged in a heated and controversial run-off election against the irrefutable Ken Russell himself.

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Miami Herald

City attorney: Votes for Sarnoff won’t count in Miami election

by David Smiley

There will be two names on the ballot when voters in Miami’s District 2 head to the polls Nov. 17 to select a new city commissioner, but only votes for Ken Russell will count, according to Miami’s city attorney.

In an opinion issued just hours after Teresa Sarnoff officially declared in a letter that she was withdrawing from the race, City Attorney Victoria Méndez indicated Tuesday that the city cannot halt the runoff election, but votes for Sarnoff will not be valid or publicized, essentially making Russell the city’s commissioner-elect.

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Miami Herald

Workers rally in downtown Miami for $15 minimum wage

by Nicholas Nehmas

About 200 peopled gathered outside County Hall in downtown Miami Tuesday night as part of a national day of action calling for politicians to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

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