Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yo Quiero In!

In his upstart race against two-term District 1 incumbent Angel Gonzalez, Mike Suarez is definitely the underdog. He's got less money, fewer connections, and — judging from a stroll through the heart of Allapattah — a far smaller quantity of signage than his opponent. Gonzalez's smiling, stately (if somewhat vampiric) face dominates the neighborhood's restaurants, shops, and vacant lots.

Still, Suarez has at least one key constituency behind him that Gonzalez is unlikely to claim: bail bondsmen. At least two bondsmen's offices near the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in Allapattah are sporting Suarez campaign signs; not one is for Gonzalez. It's not difficult to guess why; Suarez is himself a bondsman. He posts bond for recent arrestees — at Ace Bonding on 14th Street, in front of which a Suarez sign has been staked into the ground. A competitor, Dade County Bail Bonds, is also plugging the candidate: A campaign sign is posted proudly in the driveway, right in front of the company's "Bail Bus," which bears a painted cartoon of a jailed Chihuahua holding a sign that reads "Yo Quiero Out!"

Even the bondsmen who have chosen not to advertise Suarez's campaign favor him. "Oh yeah, I like him," says Martha Lopez, the owner of Lady Bond Bail Bonds. Christian Castillo of Castillo Bail Bonds also opted against hosting signs, but says Suarez is indeed his profession's candidate of choice. "Yeah, a lot of bondsmen have stickers," he says. "You know, he used to work here for a while. He's a good guy — I think he'd be good. You ever heard of Bounty Girls Miami? Now that's a story you should do."

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

No comments: