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A Special Election to Replace Mayor 3-Felony Count

The City of North Miami Beach commission voted to hold a special election on December 5, 2023. Only way to vote is by mail or on Election Day. No Early Voting.


The decision comes down to former Commissioner Paule Villard who was elected in 2018 until she lost her reelection in 2022 and former Commissioner Evan Piper who was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2018 when the previous mayor George Vallejo took a plea deal and left office in disgrace after it was found out he was embezzling campaign funds (and later that he was taking kickbacks through a developer).


The Biscayne Times has all the details on the two candidates here.


Excerpt:


North Miami Beach Mayor's Race Enters Final Lap

Two community veterans head to December ballot


By Samantha Morell, Biscayne Times Staff Writer



The city of North Miami Beach’s special mayoral race is in high gear. Now that the qualifying period has officially closed, residents have one month to weigh out potential candidates before the Dec. 5 election.


Although pickings are slim in quantity, residents may find that both names on the ballot hold some weight. Evan Scott Piper and Paule Villard, both former commissioners with decades of community involvement behind them, are the only two candidates running.


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Each candidate says they’re readily equipped to bridge differences within the commission amid ongoing controversies that have stunted progress over the past year, including DeFillipo’s arrest and subsequent ousting in June over charges of voter fraud.


“This whole city’s been sort of a circus for several years,” said Piper. “So my main priority is unifying the city, and that goes for everybody, but starting with the commission … We’ve got to be a team before we can win Super Bowls.”


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“My experience in observing many other governing bodies, from Congress to local commissions, has shown me that divergences of opinions and strong wills will produce clashes,” said Villard. “It behooves a leader to merge those differences into a workable solution for the benefit of the electors and residents.”


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Both candidates boast a history of serving their community. Piper, for one, is no stranger to replacing indicted politicians, having been appointed to the commission in 2018 after Frantz Pierre was removed from office by former Gov. Rick Scott.


Villard, on the other hand, served a full term as commissioner after being elected in 2018, although she lost her reelection bid to now acting Mayor Jay Chernoff last year. She is also a retired North Miami Beach police sergeant of 28 years, as well as a 31-year resident of the city.


“[My background] is concrete proof of my dedication to serve, and of my love for the city and its residents,” said Villard.


Piper is the president of the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and a former chair of the city’s planning and zoning board. He also served as chair of the city’s Advisory Committee of Disabled Individuals; Piper has been in a wheelchair since surviving an airplane crash in 2001.

“I just figured that I’m one of the few people that have the skills and the ability and desire to be able to step in and do the job from day one, because I’ve pretty much done it,” he said.


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