Former Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia advanced to a November runoff election in his bid to reclaim the county position.
Garcia, 76, will face off against longtime politician Eddy Gonzalez, a 44-year-old who reached his term limit in the Florida Legislature, according to the Miami Herald. The two candidates emerged from a group of five individuals vying for the $168,000 a year job. Miami-Dade voters must now choose between a professional real estate appraiser and someone with no appraisal experience but significant political clout and name recognition.
The last time Garcia was in a similar race, it did not turn out well for the appraiser. After serving as the county’s first elected appraiser from 2009 to 2012, Garcia narrowly lost to veteran politician Carlos Lopez-Cantera. In January, Lopez-Cantera vacated the appraiser post after being selected by Gov. Rick Scott to become Florida’s first Hispanic lieutenant governor.
Miami-Dade’s property appraiser is responsible for setting the taxable value of more than 900,000 residential and commercial properties in the county. The office has a nearly $34 million annual budget and more than 360 employees. [Miami Herald] — Eric Kalis