Anderson and Menendez Elected to City Commission

Rhonda Anderson and Kirk Menendez Come Out on Top After Runoff Election

In a runoff election decided Tuesday, April 28, Rhonda Anderson and Kirk Menendez were elected as city commissioners. Anderson replaces the Group II seat vacated by Commissioner Pat Keon, while Menendez takes the Group III seat left open by Vince Lago, who was elected mayor on April 13. All three will be sworn into office Friday, April 30 at the Coral Gables Public Safety Building.

Anderson defeated retired banker Jose Valdés-Fauli, capturing nearly 73 percent of the votes. Menendez beat attorney Javier Baños with more than 52 percent of the votes. A total of 7,275 ballots were cast, representing 20 percent of the 36,064 registered voters in Coral Gables.

Both losing candidates offered congratulations to the winners. Valdés-Fauli e-blasted a photo of Anderson under the heading “A New Chapter,” thanking voters and applauding their choice of “a leader with integrity and spirit.”

Rhonda Anderson
Rhonda Anderson received nearly 73 percent of the votes for the Group II city commission seat.

Anderson and Menendez will now both serve four years as city commissioners, with an annual salary of $37,921. Their first city commission meeting is scheduled for May 11.

Anderson, 61, is an attorney who has practiced civil and criminal law for 33 years. She brings to the commission an extensive pedigree as a community activist and civic leader. She founded the LeJeune Segovia Neighborhood Association in 2005 and has served on the Coral Gables Public Safety Commission, the Sustainability Advisory Board, and the Planning and Zoning Board.   

Menendez, 58, is a lifelong Gables resident and former Miami assistant city attorney who is well-known in the city as a coach of youth sports at the Coral Gables Youth Center and an active member of the Church of the Little Flower.

Anderson celebrated her win with supporters at the Biltmore Hotel, while Menendez celebrated at Pinch Me Gastrobar, a neighborhood restaurant and bar in the Crafts district where he lives.

Kirk Menendez
Kirk Menendez won the Group III city commission seat over Javier Baños.