Jamaican-Americans Barnes and Salesman re-elected to the Miramar City Commission

After much debate and controversy surrounding the re-election of three Jamaican-Americans to the Miramar City Commission, two of the three candidates were re-elected to their seats in yesterday’s election. Winston F. Barnes, a well-known Caribbean personality and news director of WAVS radio and Fitzroy Salesman, businessman and former teacher won convincingly, while George Pedlar lost to Troy Samuels.

Pedlar’s loss brought the history-making Jamaican-American majority on the five member City Commission to an end after he and Barnes won election in 2003.

Barnes received a whopping 3,272 votes with his closest rival Wendy Murray receiving 1,225. Tom Nickel, who had filed a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission demanding equal time from WAVS management which resulted in the removal of Barnes off the air for the last two weeks, ran a distant third with 1214 votes.

Barnes said he will focus on redeveloping Miramar’s east side during his next term.

Salesman emerged with 2,898 votes over African-American challenger John Moore who received 1,616 votes. ”I have been here for the people, and the people recognize that,” Salesman said. “The people are telling me, `Go on, finish the work that you have started.’ ”

Pedlar’s race was the toughest as he was challenged by Samuels, who had strong support from the west and former commissioner Sallie Stephens, a retired teacher who lives in the east. Pedlar fought a strong battle and lost by 313 votes, receiving 2,297 to Samuels 2, 610. Stephens received 1,412 a poor showing for the once popular African-American who two years ago resigned as commissioner in her bid to unseat Lori Moseley as mayor.

Samuels, who ran unsuccessfully against Pedlar two years ago, says his priorities are starting districting, reducing taxes and streamlining expenditures.

Thirteen candidates ran for the three commission seats.

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