Former Mayor Tom Carney Returns as Delray Beach’s Top Official

In a sweeping return to political life, Tom Carney, a former Commissioner and one-time Mayor of Delray Beach, is reclaiming his seat as the city’s top elected official. This significant political move, backed by the Florida GOP, has flipped the mayoralty blue, marking a new chapter for the city.

The Triumphant Return

Carney, who previously served a brief term as Mayor in 2013 before losing the office in the same year, claimed victory with 51.7% of the vote. His competitors, Vice Mayor Ryan Boylston and former Commissioner Shirley Johnson, received 37.8% and 10.5% of the vote respectively.

Carney will now succeed Democrat Mayor Shelly Petrolia in Seat 5. Despite Petrolia’s support for his campaign, Carney’s win is seen as an advantage for Republicans as it represents a flipped seat.

Other Noteworthy Elections

In addition to Carney, Delray Beach also welcomed former Commissioner Juli Casale back to the five-person panel in Seat 3. Casale, who lost her seat last year in a surprising turn of events to current Deputy Vice Mayor Rob Long, managed to secure her place again with 42% of the vote.

Furthermore, first-time candidate Tom Markert also emerged victorious, beating two opponents for the right to replace outgoing Seat 1 Commissioner Adam Frankel. Frankel is currently running for Palm Beach County Public Defender.

Delray Beach’s Future Direction

These recent political changes reflect a growing concern among Delray Beach residents about overdevelopment in the coastal city. Carney, Casale, and Markert all expressed their commitment to a more measured approach to growth during their campaigns. For example, Carney vowed to “fight overdevelopment and the traffic congestion that comes with it” and prioritized public safety, a more fiscally responsible government, reducing taxes, and improving government-resident relations.

Similarly, Casale, who previously served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Advisory Board, opposed needless overdevelopment. Markert, a former corporate CEO, echoed these sentiments, warning against “careless mistakes with overdevelopment.”

With these new leaders in place, it seems Delray Beach is set for a future that balances growth with the preservation of its unique character. As the city enters this new chapter, residents and observers alike will be watching closely to see how these newly elected officials navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead.

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