James Cason Elected Coral Gables Mayor Thanks to New Times

cason1.jpg
Photo by Michael McElroy
We're gonna go ahead and take credit for James Cason's victory in Coral Gables yesterday. Voters in the City Beautiful made the former state department official their mayor. He beat incumbent Don Slesnick and local attorney Thomas Korge. Despite a last-minute flyer declaring him a carpetbagger with a felon for a campaign manager, Cason convinced Coral Gables residents that his career as a U.S. diplomat gave him the credentials to tackle the city's biggest problems, including a $197 million shortfall in the employee pension fund.

New Times chronicled Cason's life in a 4,533-word feature story this past January 20, including his role undermining Fidel Castro when he was chief of the U.S. Interest Section in Havana.


Cason won despite raising less money than Slesnick and Korge, who collected more than $200,000 combined. The victory is extra-sweet for his campaign manager, Jorge de Cardenas, whose felony conviction resulting from a Miami scandal in the 1990s was highlighted in a negative flyer about Cason circulated a week before the election. De Cardenas helped Cason amp up his anti-Castro credentials among Coral Gables' Cuban-American voters.

In the two commission races, William "Bill" H. Kerdyk Jr. obliterated Richard Namon Sr., while Frank Quesada easily beat five other candidates.

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8 comments
Matthew Earl
Matthew Earl

Is he another republicunt douche bag? Coral Gables is a dump.

guest
guest

Is his pension and the Commissioners pension also included in his pension cuts.

robertburr
robertburr

Thanks for your coverage. Cason is a true diplomat, replacing a failed leader and ending a decade of shame and disappointment for Gables citizens. CAson's story is truly interesting and unique. It will be interesting to see how the landscape changes on his watch as the last vestiges of Sleezy cronyism are eradicated.

anon1
anon1

"De Cardenas helped Cason amp up his anti-Castro credentials among Coral Gables Cuban American voters."

Stupidity is the norm in South Florida. In a rational community it would be irrelevant whether the mayor of Coral Gables is pro-Castro, anti-Castro, or Castro-neutral. Coral Gables is not a nation and as such it doesn't have a foreign policy.

Bill Cason
Bill Cason

Your article certainly lent valuable support in terms of information; kudos for your coverage. However Jim also had solid support within the community among not only Latin voters but a broad base of discontented citizens. Jim and his dedicated team spent months on daily walks to meet over 8000 households. His plans to reform the city's finances also resonated with the populace and he had the solid support of other major local players like former mayors, city bloggers, and the Sierra Club. It was truly a grassroots team effort. Thanks Francisco and Miami New Times for your part.

P_Nis
P_Nis

Even Bill Clinton couldn't help Korge!

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