Dispatches From the 2011 Special Mayoral Election
12:00 p.m.: Just arrived at Norland Methodist Church in Miami Gardens wearing my Luther Campbell for Mayor tee. Holding my yard sign I start stumping for votes as a pair of elderly African American ladies get out of their car. "Punch 17! Don't let Julio Robaina's $1.2 million buy the election. Vote for Luke!"
The senior citizens smile and walk in.
Campbell, who along with his wife voted earlier this morning, stops by to say hello to his volunteers for a couple minutes. He leaves to go to another precinct.
So far turn out at the predominantly black precincts in North Dade has been very light.
1:02 p.m.: Voters are scarce at New Birth Baptist Church at 123rd Street and NW 8th Avenue, but Campbell volunteers Valerie and Sandra Ali are undettered. The mother and daughter signed up for the campaign two months ago. They voted for him via absentee ballot.
"Luke is gonna take it to the house," Valerie says confidently. "I'll keep believing it until the last voted is counted."
Her daughter supports Campbell because of his blunt honesty about black politicians who have sold out their communities. "Luke stepped forward," Sandra says. "He is the most transparent candidate in the race."
1:09 p.m.: Meanwhile, Campbell is on a sidewalk near the precinct inside the Liberty City Square Housing Projects, aka the Pork N' Beans. He is holding a sign and waving at passing motorists, who honk their horns.
"I need y'all to vote for me baby," Luke yells. "Get to the polls now! That's what's up!"
2:27 p.m.: Just stood in front of the "Welcome To Miami Beach" sign on the Julia Tuttle Causeway holding a Luther Campbell placard. One car honked. Guess that's one more vote for Luke.
2:46 p.m.: At the Miami Beach Library on Collins Avenue and 22nd street turnout is dismal. Only 95 ballots have been cast. "It's been slow and low," adds a precinct clerk on duty.