Sure, California may have recalled its governor in 2003, but that election was decided was by a nail-biting margin of only 11%. But yesterday, voters approved the removal of the mayor of Florida’s most populous county by 88%.

For comparison, 95% of voters approved the recall of the Bell city councilors.

The recall of the second-term mayor was the end of a shocking collapse of a local official. Four years ago, voters gave Mayor Carlos Alvarez greater power to clean up the county administration.

But within the last two years, he angered voters with the decision to fund a new stadium for the Florida Marlins, authorizing the county to pay for more than $300 million of the $600 million stadium. 

Since then, he increased property taxes to address a $444 million budget deficit, and approved pay raises for county employees.

The decision didn’t sit well with voters.

Whatever the reason, the implications of a population center of more than 2.5 million people recalling their top elected official are substantial.

From the Miami Herald:

Voters swept Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez out of office by a stunning margin Tuesday, capping a dramatic collapse for a politician who was given increased authority by voters four years ago to clean up much-maligned county government but was ushered out in the largest recall of a local politician in U.S. history.

The spectacular fall from power comes after two years of missteps, ranging from granting top staffers big pay hikes to construction of a publicly funded stadium for the Florida Marlins to implementation of a property-tax rate increase that outraged an electorate struggling through an ugly recession.

Alvarez tried to fend off ouster by twice filing suit to block a recall vote. After the lawsuits went nowhere, he defended his record in speeches, radio and television appearances and paid advertisements, arguing that he made the tough calls to preserve vital services for residents.

Read the full article here.