Openly gay politician Michael Góngora won reelection in Miami Beach, representing the city for a third time as Commissioner.
The Cuban-American elected leader defeated opponent Adrian Gonzalez to secure the Group 3 Seat, winning 65 percent of the votes or 7,280 votes over Gonzalez's 3,952 votes.
At his victory party at The Betsy Hotel on South Beach, Góngora thanked his supporters and political allies, including former Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and existing Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez. He said he is "thrilled to be representing the City of Miami Beach for the third time as Miami Beach Commissioner" after undergoing an eight-month journey on the campaign trail.
"The third time is the charm and I've been saying Miami Beach needs some charm," Góngora said. "I'm ready to get back and fight for the residents of our city...It's incredibly gratifying after putting yourself on the line as I have in so many elections to see the results come in and to come in with quite frankly the biggest margin of victory I've ever had. I take this as a mandate from the residents and the voters of Miami Beach that we want more from our city government, and I am thrilled to have the trust of the residents to be part of the team to deliver the services we need and provide the quality of life that we need."
Góngora promises residents they will have "the most accessible, transparent, reliable person serving you as Miami Beach Commissioner 3. My phone, my email, my Facebook, my Instagram, all methods of communication are available to you so that I can give you the best quality representation that you deserve as the City of Miami Beach Commissioner."
Góngora was Miami Beach's first and only openly gay elected commissioner and vice mayor during his first and second tenure and also the first openly gay Hispanic to win elected office in the state of Florida.
As commissioner, he pushed for the first citywide recycling program, founded the city sustainability committee and helped create a sustainability plan designed to encourage developers to erect greener buildings. Góngora also helped pass a stormwater master plan to resolve flooding in the City of Miami Beach.
In 2013, Góngora ran for mayor of Miami Beach but lost to Philip Levine, coming in second place out of four candidates running with nearly 40 percent of the vote following a recount.
Prior to being elected to the Miami Beach Commission, Góngora held local elected and appointed leadership and governmental roles throughout Miami-Dade County. He created the first Green Ad Hoc Committee, now referred to as the Sustainability Committee, for Miami Beach in 2007. This committee created a sustainability plan and focused on ways of improving recycling within the city.
Góngora's involvement with the LGBT community in Miami Beach includes advocating for the creation of the city’s Human Rights Commission and working with local organizations such as the Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, as well as local, state and national groups such as Aqua Foundation, Gay Pride Committee, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Trevor Project, SAVE Dade, Equality Florida and Unity Coalition. He introduced resolutions to the City Commission in support of the Uniting American Families Act and the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up For All Students Act against cyber bullying in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Góngora hosts or sponsors events by South Beach AIDS Project (SOBAP), Gay, Lesbian & Straight Alliance (GLSEN) and the Trevor Project, the only national 24/7 suicide prevention helpline for LGBT youth.
In 2014, Gongora was invited to join the executive board of the World Outgames, hosted in Miami Beach in 2017, the first city in the United States to do so. As Vice Mayor, Gongora had been part of the delegation in February 2013 to travel to Antwerp, Belgium and compete for Miami Beach to host the games.
In September 2014, Gongora was the top vote-getter and chosen as Favorite Local Hero in the Pink Flamingo Awards, recognizing him as the first and only openly gay elected Commissioner and Vice Mayor in Miami Beach.
Góngora will be sworn as Miami Beach Commissioner Group 3 on Monday, Nov. 13.