Runoffs? Losses? Here’s how real estate industry’s picks fared in the Miami Beach election

Condo board attorney Michael Góngora — who raised the most money from the real estate industry — will face off against commissioner Steven Meiner in a runoff for Miami Beach mayor following Tuesday’s election. 

In the three Miami Beach commissioner races, real estate broker Andres Asion lost against Tanya Katzoff Bhatt for Group IV commissioner. Real estate-backed candidate Marcella Novela also lost in a tight race against Joe Magazine for Group VI. David Suarez won against Mitch Novick for Group V — neither of the latter candidates raised a significant amount of money from real estate players, but Suarez secured more contributions. 

In the mayoral race, which also included attorney Mike Grieco and businessman Bill Roedy, Meiner garnered 30 percent with nearly 4,100 votes. To win, a candidate must secure more than 50 percent of the vote.

Góngora, a former Miami Beach commissioner who works as a community association litigator at the law firm Becker, secured 28 percent of the vote with more than 3,800 votes in Tuesday’s election. Whoever wins in the runoff Nov. 21 will replace Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who is termed out. 

Góngora’s donors included the Kanavos family, co-owners of the Sagamore and Ritz-Carlton hotels in South Beach; Shore Club Property Owner and Witkoff Group, the developers of the planned Shore Club luxury condo and hotel project; Miami Beach luxury homebuilder and restaurateur Mathieu Massa; and David Grutman, a nightlife operator, restaurateur and hotelier, along with his wife, designer Isabela Rangel Grutman. 

In the Group IV commission race, Katzoff Bhatt, a communications consultant who vice chairs the Miami Beach Planning Board, secured contributions from David Wallack, CEO of Mango’s Tropical Cafe, and companies tied to Mango’s; as well as Fredric and Aaron Karlton of Karlton Investment Group; Streamline Properties CEO Saul Gross; developer Kareem Brantley; and real estate agent Alexandra Peters.

Katzoff Bhatt earned 56.5 percent of the vote with nearly 7,300 votes. Asion, owner and broker of Miami Real Estate Group, lost with 43.5 percent, or 5,600 votes. Asion outraised Bhatt, nabbing contributions from developer Jeff Berkowitz; top brokers Dina Goldentayer of Douglas Elliman, Dora Puig of Luxe Living Realty, Coldwell Banker’s The Jills Zeder Group; and brokerage heads Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, Phil Gutman and Elliman’s Jay Philip Parker. 

Magazine, who previously worked for Deutsche Bank and Barclays Investment Bank, will become Group VI commissioner. His real estate backers included developers Michael Stern and Michael Simkins; Gross of Streamline Properties; and Ralph Choeff. 

He won about 6,500 votes, representing just over 50 percent of the vote, against Novela. Novela, an art adviser who is married to developer Ricardo Dunin, secured the industry’s endorsement with contributions from Elliman Florida CEO Parker, Fortune International Group and other companies managed by Edgardo and Ana Cristina Defortuna; the Grutmans and others. 

Suarez, a marketing professional, won against hotelier Novick with 52.5 percent of the vote, or about 6,800 votes. He will replace Group 5 commissioner Ricky Arriola, who is termed out. 

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