Four of five incumbent council members lose seats

Four of five members up for reelection in two Kendall area community councils were ousted by surprising ballot results in the Aug. 14 primary election.

Jose Garciga, chair of East Kendall Council 12, and Jeff Wander, former chair of West Kendall Council 11, were upset by first-time candidates.

Only Angela “Angie” Vazquez, current chair of Council 11, retained her SubArea 124 post by corralling a 53-46 percent margin to defeat freshman candidate Joseph Sanchez, a graphics and printing studio owner.

“I served the community in the best way I knew how,” Garciga said following his loss in SubArea 126 to Alex Duran.

“That’s the way politics go,” Wander said after voters replaced the veteran police official in SubArea 112 with newcomer Daniel Ojeda, a Hialeah native and son of a former Venezuelan government official, Dr. Alfredo Ojeda, and prominent journalist, Marilyn (Gonzalez) Ojeda. Ileana Petisco of Council 11 and Anthony Petisco of Council 12, appointed to fill vacated terms, also lost their seats. The Petiscos, related through fathers who are brothers, live in separate Kendall areas.

Carolina Blanco, a Kendall native and public schoolteacher, won 68-31 percent over Ms. Petisco, the most decisive victory in five council races. Matthew Larsh, an ex-Marine and an IT manager, received 58-41 percent support over Mr. Petisco.

Defeated incumbents continue to serve until Nov. 20 when new council terms become effective “on the second Tuesday next succeeding the state general election,” according to Hilda Castillo, Human Resources manager for the Regulatory and Economic Resources Department (formerly Planning and Zoning) under Miami- Dade’s revised structure. Orientation for new council members will be scheduled in mid-November, Castillo added.

In West Kendall, the seat currently held by Joseph E. Delaney will become vacant until he (or someone else) is reappointed to serve SubArea 114. Delaney missed a filing deadline to qualify for reelection in the primary. Primary voting after certification of 52 Kendall precincts:

SubArea 112 — Daniel Ojeda, 59.43% (9,382); Jeff Wander, 40.57% (6,404);

SubArea 116 — Carolina Blanco, 68.21% (10,621); Ileana Pestico, 31.79% (4,949);

SubArea 122 — Matthew Larsh, 58.65% (6,003); Anthony Petisco, 41.35% (4,233);

SubArea 124 — Joe Sanchez, 46.12% (4,877); Angela Vazquez, 53.88% (5,697), and

SubArea 126 — Alex Duran, 65.33% (6,777), Jorge Garciga, 34.67% (3,596).

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