Michelle Spence-Jones prays for support in term limit lawsuit

Richard Dunn sues Miami city commissioner over third consecutive term


MIAMI – The question of whether Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones may run again in November will go before a new judge at a new hearing next week.

On Tuesday, Judge Jorge Cueto recused himself from the case after issuing the opinion that Spence-Jones is term-limited and unable to run.

That order stands as Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marc Schumacher takes the case. He can order a re-hearing or leave Judge Cueto's opinion in place.

At a church in Liberty City Wednesday morning, Spence-Jones was the headliner for what was billed as an "Hour of Power," following prayer, music, and a line-up of speakers urging support for the commissioner.

Spence-Jones denied the event was a campaign rally, though supporters prayed for her, gave passionate speeches, and passed out petitions urging people to sign in support.

"I just wanted to have this service and bring the community together," said Spence-Jones, who said she wants people to understand she wants to run for a complete second term, not a third term.

Reverend and twice-appointed for Miami Commissioner Richard Dunn brought the legal question to court, challenging her candidacy as term limited.

Spence-Jones argued that she was out of office for almost two years of her terms, suspended by then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist while she fought criminal charges. She was acquitted by a jury in one of the cases; the second case was dropped by prosecutors.

Miami's City Charter states: "No mayor or commissioner elected and qualified for two consecutive full terms shall be eligible for reelection in the next succeeding term."

"We just think the people should be the ones to decide," said Spence-Jones.

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