SOUTH MIAMI, FL, February 15, 2014 - They called it a "mudslide" because of the exceptionally dirty attacks that had been leveled against incumbent South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard.
But those smears only gave the hoots and cheers from the exuberant gathering of neighbors, supporters and volunteers (including a contingent of Greens) at Stoddard's victory party a more special meaning.
racked up 62% of the vote (1,169 votes) in this 3-way nonpartisan election, trouncing challengers Valerie Newman (431) and Rodney Williams (275).
The City Commission
for this city of 12,000 people has five members, including Stoddard
, whose allies also prevailed as incumbent Walter Harris (1,069) beat Horace Feliu (754) and Gabriel Edmond (1,059) polished off Donna Shelly (765) to take Newman's vacated seat.
The mudslinging against Stoddard
came from a slate of candidates supported by Florida Power and Light (FPL).
It was FPL's plans to build two new nuclear power plants at Turkey Point and run high voltage power lines up US 1, through his
city and others, that had been the impetus for Stoddard's first mayoral run in 2010.
has been one of FPL's staunchest opponents.
With Greens and others, Stoddard had co-founded Citizens Allied for Safe Energy (CASE) to educate the public on the consequences of FPL's plans.
Once elected, however, Stoddard
found a whole new set of problems at City Hall, from fiscal impropriety to cronyism in the police department, with the former police chief suing Stoddard over the chief losing his
According to the February 12 Eye on Miami, Stoddard
stated, "South Miami voters have become too smart to fall for these tactics.
now plans on holding a series of public workshops to develop a strong agenda for the city.
The moment was not lost on the party goers, one of whom remarked, "Now we can get some sh*t done!