Teresa Sarnoff

Miami Herald

Confusion still reigns in Miami’s District 2 election

by David Smiley

Four days after suspending her campaign for Miami’s District 2 commission seat and throwing her support behind frontrunner Ken Russell, Teresa Sarnoff notified the city of Miami on Mondaythat she would withdraw from a Nov. 17 runoff election to finally decide a new commissioner representing downtown and Coconut Grove.

And yet, somehow, one of the strangest elections in the city’s history remained as confusing as ever, at least for one more day.

Instead of bringing closure to the election as expected, the office of Miami’s city attorney issued an opinion Monday that the city must hold a runoff election, that Sarnoff’s name must be on the ballot and that Miami’s city clerk likely cannot “accept a withdrawal at this stage of the electoral process.

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Miami Herald

Miami still waits for clarity after commission candidate’s concession

By David Smiley

Absentee ballots will be mailed out Saturday for voters planning to participate in Miami’s District 2 runoff — an election in which one of the two candidates has already conceded.

Teresa Sarnoff, the wife of outgoing District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, suspended her campaign Thursday, acknowledging that opponent Ken Russell is too far ahead to even try to catch without unleashing a barrage of unsavory attacks. Sarnoff says she will withdraw from the race, but only if she’s confident the city would respond by canceling the Nov. 17 election and declaring Russell the commissioner-elect.

That, however, remained a question late Friday, even after the results from Tuesday’s election were certified. Sarnoff had not withdrawn and Miami’s city attorney had not issued a clarifying legal opinion. And so the city is, for now, preparing to host a runoff election.

“Right now we have an election. We have two candidates in a race,” City Attorney Victoria Méndez said Friday.

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Miami Herald Exclusive

Teresa Sarnoff: ‘Finishing’ campaign positively; throwing support to Ken Russell

After much deliberation, I have made the decision to finish my campaign with a very positive message. I did not engage in negative campaigning and do not condone negative campaigning. You do not create your reputation by tearing someone else’s down. The traditional strategy to finish this campaign requires a negative campaign with a negative message. This is something I just will not do.

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