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Special election will fill council seat

El Portal’s Village Council Seat 3 is up for grabs for the village’s upcoming February election.

By Rodolfo Roman
Special to The Miami Herald
El Portal residents have two political newcomers to choose from in a special Feb. 8 election to fill a vacant seat on the Village Council.

Residents Omarr C. Nickerson and Calixto A. Navarro will face each other for Council Seat 3 at the February 8 election.

In November, voters elected new mayor Daisy Black and re-elected council members Harold E. Mathis Jr. and Linda Marcus. Councilwoman Claudia V. Cubillos won Seat 2 unopposed.

Sadri Manrique Medina, who ran for seat 4 in November, but was defeated by Marcus, was also running for Seat 3. However, he withdrew from the race citing personal reasons.

Last year, Nickerson had filed to run for Seat 3, but he didn’t qualify because he was not registered to vote in the village, according to village clerk Albertha Patterson. He has since corrected that, Patterson said.

Council members are paid $2,000 a year to help run the government of a village of about 2,500 people.

Navarro, 45, who has lived in the village for almost three years, helped found the non-profit organization Cuban Democratic Directorate in 1990 and now works for the organization. He plans to help increase home values and preserve green areas.

“I believe that I would bring many assets to the community — my business knowledge as well as my community and civic activities make me the ideal candidate to fill the Village Council Seat 3,” he wrote in an e-mail.

Nickerson, 28, a three-year resident, teaches economics, American government and world history at Booker T. Washington Senior High School.

If elected, he plans to preserve the village’s history.

“I’m also a student of history, and the simple beauty that is El Portal should be cherished, while at the same time celebrated,” he said. “I want to create a culture of pride and appreciation for El Portal that can continue once I am no longer on the Village Council.”

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