Votes win elections. Or is it money? Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is taking no chances. With election day more than 20 months away, Gimenez has already amassed a substantial sum for a local race.

Donald Trump now wants the Key Biscayne golf course.
Donald Trump now wants the Key Biscayne golf course.

A Miami Herald blog recently reported that the mayor has raised $502,000 – mostly from big donors. As for defining big donors – people like Donald Trump, for example, who has contributed $15,000. Of course, Trump seems to have something up his sleeve. As has been reported over the past few years, Mayor Gimenez has become friendly with sports moguls around town. Gimenez is the same guy who became mayor by criticizing former mayor Carlos Alvarez, thrown out by voters for cozying up to the Miami Marlins owner and his new stadium built with taxpayer dollars.

Might there be a handshake involved with the $15K? The Miami Herald has reported that Trump is now pursuing management of the public Key Biscayne Crandon Park golf course. The decision will rest with the county. And Gimenez is the highest elected official at the county…

As for his reelection, Gimenez may also be putting together an amount that he feels will guarantee him a win in November 2016. Of course he has heard the rumors. Considering a run next year for the county’s top post is Raquel Regalado, the Miami mayor’s daughter and a popular member of the School Board.

Raquel Regalado with her dad, Mayor Tomas Regalado.
Raquel Regalado with her dad, Mayor Tomas Regalado.

Allow me to throw another name in that group. How about Sen. Marco Rubio. I know, it’s a step down for the U.S. senator. But hear me out.

Marco wants to be in charge. He may yet run for president of the U.S. If he does then he would have to give up his senate seat, which is also up in 2016. Let’s assume he loses the presidential primary race. There would still be time to jump into the mayor’s race. And with name recognition and money to boot, he’d be a formidable candidate there.

If he wins, Marco would then set his sights on the Florida governor’s mansion in 2018. It’s all speculation, I understand. The thing is, he’s still young enough to allow himself this wide turn and still pursue the presidency in 2024 – and he’d still be in his 50s.

Anyway, I am sure that Mayor Gimenez is not willing to take any chances. If he’s got half a million already, expect this to be an expensive mayor’s race.

So what’s your answer? Money or votes? What wins elections these days?

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