Raquel Regalado is She really Serious ?
For more than a year, Raquel Regalado has been positioning herself as the antidote to Carlos Gimenez, the Miami-Dade County mayor with a penchant for offering government subsidies to failing institutions and billionaire developers who own sports stadiums. Most recently, Regalado came out against Gimenez’s $48 million bailout of Frost Science Museum.
Despite an inspector general’s report that criticized Miami-Dade officials handling of the $165 million already given to the museum, county commissioners approved Gimenez’s financial rescue package last week. At the hearing, Regalado told commissioners: “What are we telling our kids if people do wrong acts and what we do is just bail them out?”
But is the Miami-Dade School Boardmember really serious about challenging Gimenez’s re-election bid in the August primary election? Word on the street is that Regalado is merely using this race as a springboard for the Miami mayor’s race in 2017 as part of her family’s political dynasty building. Her dad, Tomas Regalado, is the city’s current mayor.
By railing against Gimenez, Regalado gets to build name recognition and set herself apart from her father. She’s going to need both if she were to jump to the Miami mayor’s race, which will likely feature city commissioners Frank Carollo and Francis Suarez, two other Cuban Americans from well-known political families. Carrollo’s brother and Suarez’s father are both former Miami mayors.
But her chances in the county mayor’s race are much tougher. For starters, Regalado doesn’t have enough campaign cash to match up with Gimenez’s warchest. She’s raised $631,560 between her campaign committee and Serving Miamians, an electioneering communications organization registered with the state’s division of elections. Meanwhile, Gimenez’s campaign and his ECO, Miami-Dade Residents First, have amassed $3.2 million.
Plus, Gimenez is finally working to represent all of Miami-Dade and not just the rich communities. It’s going to be very difficult to beat him. And while Regalado is an honorable, respectable lady who has done some great things on the school board, the question remains whether she can handle a big government the size of Miami-Dade.
But if she is serious like me when I ran for county mayor in 2011, then Regalado needs to diffuse all this talk that she’s really aiming for her daddy’s current job.