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Victoria Mendez

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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

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 Sarnoff had not withdrawn and Miami’s city attorney had not issued a clarifying legal opinion.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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