With less than a week to go, the race for No. 2 in 5 is on.
Most political observers in the 305 expect a runoff in the special shotgun wedding election for Miami-Dade commission District 5 to replace Bruno Barreiro, who resigned to run for congress. So the battle on Tuesday really becomes one for the No. 2 place finish.
And it looks like former Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla is fighting newcomer activist Eileen Higgins for that spot.
Bruno’s babe, Zoraida Barreiro, is likely leading all the candidates’ internal polls. There are a few reasons for that: She’s the only Hispanic female Republican in a race centered in Little Havana and she already had a well-oiled machine warm from the Miami commission race she ran last year. Even though she lost, she likely had a good number of her core voters in the district already identified from Day One.
Read related: Special Miami-Dade Commission race has us entre un rock y un hard place
Oh, and then there’s the fact that a Barreiro hasn’t lost in this district in, well, 20 years.
That’s why you see ADLP — who has lost his last two elections (five if you count the ones he lost for his brothers) — consistently hitting Barreiro in mail pieces while Higgins is hitting ADLP, not Barreiro. Sure, she did that mail piece about rejecting dynasties, which can be applied to both. But she singled ADLP out.
“Zero achievements. High taxes. Typical politician,” it says, only in Spanish so it sounds worse. Doesn’t matter if it’s not entirely true. I mean,  ADLP did sponsor that law where everybody gets a landline phone dial tone, even if you didn’t pay your phone bill, to call 911 if you have to. Didn’t he? That’s achieving something.
The piece, with a red arrow pointing to a picture of ADLP, cites tax increases in the appropriations or worker’s compensation bills of 2008 and 2009, when ADLP was a state senator.
Read related: Another shady PAC attacks Zoraida Barreiro in county Commission race
Hector Roos, a political consultant not on anyone’s payroll in this race, says that it’s natural for Higgins to go after ADLP. Zory is going after the 50% plus one. ADLP is going after Zory. So Higgins goes after ADLP. Except Roos put it in text: “50+% > Zory > ADLP > Higgins. Think PacMan, each after their own goal.”
Supported by the Miami-Dade Democrats, which is going all out to get out the vote for the only Dem in the nonpartisan race, Higgins — who has yet to be attacked, at least publicly — could very well peel some votes from Diaz de la Portilla. The anti-Barreiro votes, anyway.
So does that mean ADLP is playing into Higgins’ hands with attacks like this one?

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In what amounts to a political pissing match, the two top contenders in the GOP primary for the Senate seat in District 40 are trying to out-Republican each other.

Former State Rep. Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz, whose latest mail piece has the word Republican in it six times, has had hit former Senator Alex Diaz de la Portilla with mail pieces and now a TV commercial that basically cast him as a closet liberal and fake conservative. Last week, some residents in Westchester got mailers from Dean DLP that said Diaz had only become a Republican to run for office (he was an NPA until 2007 and ran in 2008).

The piece had a picture of a young Alex with President Ronald Reagan from some 20 de Mayo event in downtown Miami in 1982 or 1983 that he should have, but apparently didn’t, shave for. You know, to drive the point home that Diaz de la Portilla is the real man, er, I mean real Republican here. “From top to bottom,” the mailer says. Couldn’t he say from birth?!?  Alex never toyed around with anything else! Not even in college when he was supposed to have a heart.

In the 8 1/2 X 11 mailer, Dean DLP goes on to berate our local Republicans for not walking in lock step with Trump on everything, saying that he has “the courage to defend our Republican values.

“Alex Diaz de la Portilla started his Republican activism at the early age of 18 as a volunteer for our beloved President Ronald Reagan. Since then, Alex Diaz de la Portilla has supported our Republican presidents without hesitation and with firmness. For this dedication to our Republican values, he was named Republican Senate Majority Leader,” it says, then turns into a super right wing abuelo scolding his grandchildren.

“Alex Diaz de la Portilla is left indignant by the lack of unity among Republicans and the lack of loyalty to our president. He commits to a fight against the liberal press, the leftists Democrats and the Republicans who swim in both waters,” it says.

Ooooooh. How many Republicans swim in both waters? He didn’t name names. That includes Pepi’s. “My opponent only changed to our Republican Party so he could run for office,” it says on the front side. “Mi opponente.”

In fact, DLP never mentions his opponnt. Pepi Diaz, on the other hand, mentions the name Alex Diaz de la Portilla four times and the name Diaz de la Portilla (sans the Alex) one more in a single comparison mailer paid for by his politial action committee, Rebuild Florida.

Like Alex needs the name recognition.

Pepi Diaz also doesn’t mention the word Republican once in that piece. Not in his intro bio piece either, the big one with the picture of the family on the front. Ditto for the “Jobs, jobs, jobs” mailer, where he called himself a “true conservative” — but the addition of the word “Republican” before President Donald Trump would have cost him nothing.

Quien es mas macho? Reagan or Trump?

Now, Republican flag waving is really not that new in a contested primary. It’s just more fun to watch it evolve so quickly in a short election cycle like this one, where people have precious little time to pick their party representative for the general. And so the question becomes more relevant. Quien es mas Republicano?

It sure sounds like “quien es mas macho,” don’t it? Reminded Ladra of the lyrics from that old Laurie Anderson song, Smoke Rings. “Que es mas macho? Pineapple or knife? Lightbulb or schoolbus?”

Quien es mas Republicano? Alex or Pepi? Reagan or Trump?

Alex used the word 13 times in his Reagan mail piece. That may be a record. And a sign.


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