Mayor, Braman Target Hispanic Voters In Recall

Recall Election Under Way

MIAMI - The man who spearheaded the campaign to recall Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez hit the airwaves Monday, on the first day of early voting in the recall election.

Businessman Norman Braman did not mince words Monday morning as he spoke on Radio Mambi, urging Miami-Dade voters to head to the polls early and vote Alvarez out of office.

"It's time for people in this community to stop bitching and complaining about the quality of government and go out and do something about it," Braman said.

It was no coincidence that Braman's first stop was a Spanish-language radio station.

"They have a unique role," Braman said. "I am not Hispanic. Mayor Alvarez is Hispanic, and I think it is a great tribute to our community here that they have embraced this recall in the manner that they have."

Meanwhile, Alvarez cast his vote in the recall election Monday afternoon. He said he will be going after the Hispanic vote vigorously.

"Sixty-two percent of the citizens of Miami-Dade County are Hispanics, so the Spanish vote is important if you are going to run a countywide race," Alvarez said.

Twenty thousand absentee ballots already have been returned, sparking speculation that the election could have a higher voter turnout than expected.

There are 20 early voting locations scattered throughout the county, and they all will be open every day until March 13.

For the next 15 days, voters will hear a lot from Alvarez and Braman, but voters who spoke to Local 10 said they made up their minds long ago.

"Our taxes continue to go up to pay for county services, county pensions, and I am not happy about it," said Patricia Altonaga, who voted yes to recall the mayor.

"I did have to pay a little more tax, but again, they are keeping the social services and they are doing a number of things for the community, so I voted no," said Jose Mesa.

Copyright 2011 by Post-Newsweek Stations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed