It’s Election Day in South Florida
Check out the must-watch municipal races in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
It’s Election Day in South Florida, and 23 municipalities in Broward and Palm Beach counties are holding municipal elections. One, however, is noticeably off the table: West Palm Beach suspended their elections earlier this year after no one filed to run against the incumbents.
Broward County’s races include several incumbents with Republican-leaning challengers. The area was one of the few in the state to stay blue during the last election cycle, and you can expect Democratic-leaning candidates to continue carrying the day there.
While Palm Beach County turned red last election cycle, most of its municipal races to watch are between Democratic-aligned candidates. Don’t expect another red wave to happen this month. And not just candidates are on the ballot; there are local charter amendments that voters will decide in several of Palm Beach’s cities.
These are the must-watch races and issues in South Florida that voters are deciding today:
Palm Beach County
There are no candidates on the ballot in Boca, but voters will decide on a proposed charter amendment that will increase the term length of City Council members from three years to four years. The Palm Beach Post and the South Florida Sun Sentinel have both endorsed the change.
Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer has even advocated for the change in emails to voters. He pointed out he would benefit by serving an additional year in the position, but added that the two-term limit would still stay intact.
“Boca Raton is the only city of Florida’s 25 largest cities that has the odd, three-year term instead of the standard four years. As the Palm Beach Post said, the city would benefit from this change because issues and projects take longer than the current cycle,” Singer wrote.
This city has two jam-packed commission races with a total of seven candidates, some incumbents and former elected officials, others political newcomers.
In the District 2 seat, incumbent Woodrow Hay is being challenged by Delray Beach Chief Parking Administrator Joe Josemond, former Boynton Commissioner Mack McCray and pastor Bernard Wright. In District 4, current Commissioner Aimee Kelley is facing off against former Lake Worth Mayor Tom Ramiccio and military veteran Danny Ferrell.
If a candidate fails to get 50% in either race, then there will be a run-off with the two best performing candidates.
The two races on the Delray Beach City Commission have gotten contentious because of two factions.
Seat 2 Commissioner Juli Casale is being challenged by Rob Long, a former member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Board. Retired teacher Angela Burns and former Commissioner Angie Gray are running for the open Seat 4.
While there are no official tickets, Casale and Gray share many supporters and campaign volunteers, while Long and Burns have support from many of the same local developers and employ the same consulting firm, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Delray also has its own ballot measures, including seeking voter approval for two bond referendums. A full list of all the municipalities with elections today can be found at the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website.
In one of the races, one commissioner is seeking another term after being in office since 2001. In the other, a local Democratic figure is seeking her first elected office.
District A Commissioner Becky Tooley has lived in Coconut Creek for four decades and has been a strong opponent of Florida’s Turnpike and landfill expansions that threaten her city. She is being challenged by 34-year-old Cypress Bay High School Assistant Principal Jeffrey Wasserman, a lifelong Broward resident.
In District D, appointed commissioner John Brodie is running against Broward Young Democrats President Nancy Fry and attorney Alfred Delgado. Brodie was appointed by the commission after one of their own was forced to resign due to living outside city limits. The South Florida Sun Sentinel has endorsed Tooley and Fry.
The two incumbents in Deerfield Beach are likely to cruise to reelection, although they do have challengers.
City Commissioner Michael Hudak is being challenged by Maria LoRicco, a first-time candidate and realtor who has only voted once in Deerfield since buying a home there in 1994.
Commissioner Ben Preston, the city’s first Black firefighter, is being challenged by insurance broker and MAGA conservative Darlene Swaffar and political consultant Terry Scott, who previously lost in an election to Preston and made headlines for calling Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony a racial slur. The South Florida Sun Sentinel has endorsed both incumbents in their races.
The city’s two-term mayor, a former presidential candidate, is seeking a third term in office. Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, the city’s first Black mayor who was elected in 2015, is being challenged by political newcomer Rudy Theophin, who works for a financial services company.
Messam bested a different political newcomer during his last election with over 80% support. He also has the endorsement of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Messam briefly ran for President in 2019, but suspended his campaign after it gained no traction. His campaign ended up fundraising just $5.
A list of the other Broward municipalities with elections is available on the Broward County Supervisor of Elections website.
Contact Tristan Wood at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter: @TristanDWood.
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