The Next City Election: April 11

Coral Gables Magazine’s Guide to Voting

On Tuesday, April 11, local elections will take place in Coral Gables. Mayor Vince Lago has already won re-election, after running unopposed. Two City Commission seats are up for grabs, however, as Vice Mayor Michael Mena and interim City Commissioner Jim Cason step down. 

UPDATE: Click here for the election results.

Four candidates have filed to take Commissioner Cason’s Group IV seat, while two have filed to fill the Group V shoes of Vice Mayor Mena. To make it easy for you, here is a summary of the relevant information on when and where to vote, along with thumbnails about the candidates, each of whom provided us with a glimpse into the ideas they are campaigning on. The mayor will serve a two-year term while the commissioners will serve for four years.


Voting will take place on Election Day (April 11) at the same assigned precinct where you vote for all local, state, and federal elections. To vote early or drop off a mail-in ballot, you can go to the Coral Gables War Memorial Youth Center on April 1, 2, or 8 from 8 am to 4 pm. Requests for vote-by-mail ballots must be made by April 1 and can be found by going to and clicking “Voter Information.”

If a runoff election is necessary, it will be held on Tuesday, April 25 with early voting and mail-in ballot drop-offs taking place on April 22 and 23. 


Mayor Vince Lago

Current mayor Vince Lago has won re-election, now serving a second term. As mayor, he has taken a special interest in environmental causes and public safety, with a focus on economic diversification and conservative fiscal policies. He is currently championing several city projects, including expanding sidewalks, adding new parks, and cleaning up downtown streets and residential trash pits. Mayor Lago ran unopposed due to the change in the candidacy of Jackson “Rip” Holmes from mayor to city commissioner.

Group IV: City Commission Candidates

Ivette Arango O’Doski

Ivette Arango O’Doski is a University of Miami Law graduate and small business owner of her own interior design company, IvetteArango Interiors. Endorsed by Mayor Lago, her platform for election is focused on promoting the interests of small businesses, combatting traffic and overdevelopment, supporting services for seniors and families, and championing safety and the environment.

The Next City Election

Melissa Castro

Having run M.E.D. Expeditors in Coral Gables since 2020, Melissa Castro is running for City Commission on a platform that emphasizes improvements to the historically long permitting process in Coral Gables. Castro also hopes to prioritize historic preservation and take a data-oriented approach to the city budget while educating residents on “green” issues like pollution.

Sean Patrick McGrover

The owner of McGrover Funding Corporation, which provides residential loans throughout Florida, Sean Patrick McGrover’s platform is focused primarily on business and the economy as he hopes to attract more large companies into the Gables and develop Coral Gables’ own cryptocurrency. He also wants to protect the city’s Triple A Bond rating ahead of a potential recession and develop a down payment grant program to assist first responders and health care workers in buying homes. 

The Next City Election

Jackson “Rip” Holmes

Coral Gables native and former attorney Jackson “Rip” Holmes is running for a commission seat based largely on a platform opposing overdevelopment in the Gables and advocating for a system that allows voters to decide on major development projects rather than the local government. Since 2019, Holmes has consistently thrown his hat in the ring as both a commission and mayoral candidate.

Group V: City Commission Candidates

Alexander Luis  Bucelo

The Next City Election

After losing out in the 2021 election to Commissioner Kirk Menendez, attorney and Coral Gables native Alex Bucelo is now running again with the endorsement of Mayor Lago, former mayor Don Slesnick, Vice Mayor Mena, and Commissioner Menendez on a pro-environment platform opposing large-scale development and raising taxes. Bucelo describes himself as a nonpartisan candidate.

Ariel Fernandez

Gables Insider editor Ariel Fernandez’s campaign revolves around a “residents first” approach that prioritizes citizens over developers, streamlines the permitting process, and ensures adequate employment for police and fire. This will be his second time running for commissioner since he moved to Coral Gables in 2010.