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Florida mayor voted out less than year after condo collapse

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA (AP) – Residents of a small South Florida town where a beachfront condominium building collapsed last summer killing 98 people voted their mayor out of office on Tuesday.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett came in third place in the close contest, according to uncertified results from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. Business owner Shlomo Danzinger won the race with 499 votes, followed by Vice Mayor Tina Paul with 476 votes and Burkett with 466.

Surfside is located just north of Miami Beach and has a population of nearly 6,000. The newly elected mayor and commission will be sworn in.

In the early morning hours of June 24, a large section of the 12-storey Champlain Towers South building collapsed with virtually no warning. The building was 40 years old at the time and was going through the 40-year- recertification process required by Miami-Dade County.

Emergency workers spent weeks searching for survivors and then human remains. A lawsuit concerning the collapse continues as parties work to reach a settlement. The site where the building once stood will be put up for auction at the end of April, attorneys said.

One offer for about USD120 million has been on the table for months, but there may be others as the auction approaches.

Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett. PHOTO: AP