R.E.S.P.E.C.T. The Game

I just received the certified results from the Miami Dade elections for the August 28, 2018 primary election (Miami Gardens City Council, Seat 6) and the outcome of the race is incontrovertible:

Candidate                            # of Votes                  % of Votes

Ulysses “Buck” Harvard        3,686                          20.43%

Erhabor Ighodaro                  9,121                            50.57%

Andre Williams                        5,231                           29.00%

I congratulate my opponents, two former council members, for putting forth a challenge and for allowing the electorate of our city to decide who they expect to serve in the office of at-large city council, seat 6.

The people have spoken and the political question in this race has been put to rest. Unfortunately, it is clear that my opponent will not concede defeat and has continued to spread the same rumors and baseless assertions of allegations and investigations that served as cornerstone of his entire political campaign.

For the record, I am not under any investigation. Just yesterday, my opponent sent an email referring to a Florida Bulldog report that cited erroneously as current an investigation that has been closed and found to be without merit (Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office Close-Out Memo, July 26, 2018).

In the same vain, my opponent has tried and he is still trying to conflate two unrelated issues by citing the same news outlet’s report of an alleged SEC investigation of the city’s bond program. Every reasonable person understand that there is a difference between an inquiry and an investigation, and in my capacity as elected representative of the city I am not aware of an investigation of the city’s bond program.

As a matter of fact, the only report I have received from staff, City’s auditors and the established bond rating agencies has provided outstanding appraisals of the city’s bond program. Besides, if there was an investigation of the city’s bond program, rather than acting as the self-appointed police of the city, he should let the investigation take its course. Mr. Andre Williams cannot serve as the police of the city, and even if he was, he cannot be the ‘judge, jury and executioner’.

One of the unique features that distinguish our legal system from that of other countries is our adherence to the rule of law. The rule of law is a fundamental tenet that undergirds the American democracy and jurisprudence. An allegation of criminal wrongdoing is a serious matter and must never be taken lightly. Anyone, no matter who it is, that is charged with committing a crime, if convicted must suffer the consequences. However, no one should be made to suffer any criminal penalty, no matter how small, without due process of law.

The only person who has been charged with wrongdoing and has had his “day in court” is my opponent who was cited and fined for violating Florida election laws (Consent Order Florida Elections Commission May 18, 2016).

I was never charged with a crime and the political WITCHHUNT that my opponent has cited has been found by the state attorney’s office to be baseless and without merit.

I understand that in a political fight, people will do whatever it takes to win. My opponent has challenged me, and for the second time in four years, he has lost. The electorate in Miami Gardens have spoken, and in the words of Aretha Franklin, show some r.e.s.p.e.c.t. for the game, and for our Miami Gardens voters.

As an athlete, I learned quite early in life that sportsmanship means congratulating your opponent even after receiving resounding defeat. My history in politics in this community didn’t start with my political wins, I have lost a few myself and even when I thought my opponent had used unfair tactics or strategies to win, I have always called to congratulate my opponents.

My opponent may choose to fight, refute and deny the obvious, but the results are incontrovertible. The Miami Gardens electorate have spoken and ‘you’re running out of fools’ (Aretha Franklin).

R.e.s.p.e.c.t. the Game!

Erhabor Ighodaro, PhD, Certified Winner

Re-Elected

Miami Gardens City Council, At-Large (Seat 6)

Media Advisory:

Florida Bulldog – you owe it to me, the public and voters in Miami Gardens to correct the record that I am not under any investigation. You claim to be a watch dog. If you cannot get a simple fact straight, why should we trust your story or reporting?

Miami Herald – the state attorney’s office has closed its investigation and I expect you to be as objective in reporting THIS fact as you have been in giving credence to the baseless claim and political WITCHHUNT!

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