THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
ELECTION UPDATE .....
Last week we began our nine week series covering the contested races for judge in Miami-Dade County. As we reported on May 2, 2008 on this blog, there are nine contested races here in Miami-Dade County; eight in the Circuit Court and one in the County Court. In last week's post, we analyzed the County Court contest of Lindsay vs. Lesperance. Today, we move into the Circuit Court arena.
Our goal will be to attempt to provide you with a weekly contest overview and then let you have at it and give us your opinions on why we should or should not vote for a certain candidate.
Today we look at the candidates in Group 11 of the Circuit Court. The candidates vying for this seat are Jorge Cueto and Josie Perez Velis. This seat is presently occupied by retiring Judge Eugene Fierro.
JORGE CUETO .....
Attorney Jorge Cueto has already experienced two careers during his lifetime and he now seeks to experience a third one. For 16 years, he was a police officer with the Miami-Dade Police Department. For the past 15 years, he has been a member of The Florida Bar. He has been working at the State Attorney’s Office and was last assigned to the Public Corruption Unit.
The question Cueto will need to answer is, how much money can he raise or what amount of money is he willing to lend the campaign to beat an opponent who will not shy away from spending lots of money to try and get elected; (see below). As of the last reporting period, Cueto had raised only $4,450 from 10 contributors and loaned his campaign an additional $500.
An interesting note about Cueto; he can converse in six different languages. Cueto has been married for 30 years and he has three daughters.
You can read all about Jorge Cueto on his web site at jorgecuetoforjudge.com.
JOSIE PEREZ VELIS.....
Josie Perez Velis, (or should I say Josefa) has been a member of The Florida Bar for 19 years. She is in private practice with her husband and she handles real property, probate and trust cases.
Josie clearly wants very badly to become a judge. You have to give her credit for not being a quitter.
In 2004, she ran for Circuit Court in Group 40 against three other candidates. In that election, she came in third to the eventual winner Judge William Thomas. In the September primary, the voters gave Thomas 30%, Catherine Parks 30%, Velis got 23% of the vote and Don Cohn garnered 17%. In that election, Josie raised only $3,270 from contributors. She loaned her campaign an additional $55,000 and she spent it all.
In 2006, she again ran for the Circuit Court. This time she filed in Group 25 against incumbent Judge Dennis Murphy. In an effort to win over the voters this time, Velis raised $14,570 from private contributors; and, she added an additional $330,000 of her own money. Despite that obscene amount, she lost to Murphy. The voters gave Murphy 79,810 votes (56%) and she received 62,275 votes (44%).
I have not located a web site for Velis’ campaign.
Please do your homework on the two candidates. Help out our readers by giving us your comments, pro and con, on each of the candidates.
The election takes place on Tuesday, August 26, 2008.
CAPTAIN OUT .........