Miami Prosecutor Faces Toughest Re-Election Fight

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It has been 11 years since Katherine Fernández Rundle replaced Janet Reno as the chief prosecutor in Miami. Now Fernandez Rundle is facing her toughest re-election battle, the Miami Herald reports. Her two challengers accuse her of a weak record on prosecuting public corruption, political entanglements amassed over a decade that leave her “beholden” to powerful community leaders and low morale in a “top-heavy” office that is insensitive to crime victims. Fernández Rundle faces a double-barreled attack whenever she appears at a joint forum with Republican Al Milián, a one-time Broward County prosecutor and former labor lawyer for the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association, and Independent Gary Rosenberg, a former Miami-Dade prosecutor and trial attorney of 22 years.

Fernández Rundle defeated Milián by 11 percentage points in 2000, but the Herald says the addition of Rosenberg could change the dynamics of the high-profile race. Rosenberg, who has the least name recognition and campaign donations of the three, could end up siphoning off enough votes from Fernández Rundle’s key constituencies — blacks, Jews and white non-Hispanics — to help Milián to a victory. Milián’s and Rosenberg’s campaigns have focused on a similar theme: There must be wholesale changes in the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, the nation’s fourth largest local prosecutor’s office. “This community is hungry for a new direction in that office,” said Milián. “That office does not aggressively pursue crime or enforce the law. I’ll do that.” The incumbent promises to focus on juvenile justice reform and touts a reorganization of her 1,300-employee office that gives younger attorneys more opportunities to work with veteran prosecutors.

Link: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/local/9939815.htm

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