Gay Candidate for Miami Beach Mayor Loses

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Miami Beach went to the polls and elected Philip Levine as its next mayor with 50.49 percent of the vote.

Sitting Commissioner Michael Gongora, who would have been the city’s first openly gay mayor, came in second with 36.43 percent of the vote, according to the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections. Voters came out in high numbers with 11,170 voting for a new mayor.

However, because Levine did not win with at least 50.5 percent of the vote, there was a recount, including provisional ballots, but Levine still came out a winner.

Steve Berke and Raphael Herman were two other contenders for the spot.

A practicing attorney, Gongora has served two terms as commission and sits on multiple committees and board with Miami Beach. One of his proudest moments was being the sponsor on a passing ordinance for tax equity for domestic partners.

“The best interest of Miami Beach remains my main concern,” Gongora wrote in an email blast. “In conceding the election, I asked Mr. Levine one thing:  to always put the interests of the residents first.  I hope the new Mayor and Commission will strive for what is best for Miami Beach.”

Gongora’s term as commissioner will end November 25. He says he will focus on his law career and family. Lilly

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