Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Góngora recently was named a finalist for Best Elected Official at the Latin Builders Association Awards’ 50th-anniversary event, which was held Oct. 1 at Jungle Island in Miami. 

Góngora, who is gay, was nominated alongside “some very deserving candidates,” he said, including Coral Gables Mayor Vince Lago, Doral Vice Mayor Digna Cabral and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Raquel Regalado, who ultimately won the honor.

“Celebrating the LBA Latin Builders Association’s 50th year anniversary with just about every Miami-Dade County official,” Góngora wrote on Facebook the day of the event. “Congratulations to my friend, Raquel Regalado, who beat me as Best Elected Official of 2021. I’m honored just to be a nominated finalist … It has been an honor and privilege to be a public servant for many years serving the residents.”

Erick Valderrama, president of the LBA, said in a prepared statement that Góngora was nominated and celebrated by his industry peers for “providing excellence in [his] industry category during this past year.”

“At this event, we will not only celebrate you but also LBA’s 50th anniversary,” Valderrama told Góngora in a letter.

The Building Industry Awards and Anniversary Ceremony brought together the members and guests of the Latin Builders Association from all sectors, including elected officials and community leaders. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis served as the keynote speaker.

The event kicked off with a networking hour, followed by the luncheon and awards portion of the afternoon. Valderrama said, “This event usually draws more than 800 members and guests.”

“I would like to thank you for all the support you have provided our association in the past and in advance for your consideration of this invitation,” Valderrama said to Góngora in his nomination letter.