Rodgers Victorious in Boca City Council Race
By Jason Schwartz and Fred Hamilton
Voters in at least two South Palm Beach County cities were relieved Tuesday night as nasty campaigns that featured allegations of lying, misconduct and oodles of outside financial contributions came to an end.
In Boca Raton, political newcomer Jeremy Rodgers handily beat out challengers Jamie Sauer and Frank Chapman for Seat C on the City Council. Rodgers received 41 percent of the 6,858 votes cast. Sauer bagged 30 percent and Chapman got 29 percent.
A large part of the race lied in the candidates’ views on future development and handling traffic concerns in the city. There were little differences, at least openly, and the voters were left to vote on credibility and personalities.
“I liked how Rodgers remained professional and confident every time I heard him speak,” said Mary Mackinnon, who said she was tired of the smear campaign. “Chapman lost it with me when he sent those fliers attacking the other two. It was a desperate move and it was divisive and inappropriate.”
Rodgers said his camp tried as much as they could to run a positive campaign.
“Some stuff got out there but I’m excited about the future of Boca” he said after being declared the winner. “Our message from the beginning was, Boca is a great place to retire, it’s the place where were going to have the best tech jobs, raise our families, we’re going to start the best businesses and bring the best business, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
Rodgers’ wife, Mandy, four year-old daughter Ainsley, six year-old son Connor, and two year-old son Hunter worked the polls for eight hours.
“Will you vote for my father?” Ainsley asked voters as she handed them a flyer as they entered the polling site.
In Highland Beach, newcomer Bill Weitz easily defeated incumbent Ron Brown 533 to 285 for the Vice Mayor’s seat.
Voters also approved spending money for water infrastructure and water plant improvements.
In a cantankerous race for mayor of Delray Beach, Cary Glickstein held on to his seat by beating challenger Thomas Carney Jr. 3,703 to 3,241.
The race was a replay of 2013 when Carney was acting mayor and newcomer Glickstein beat him for the city’s top office.
Carney, a former city commissioner, and Glickstein pummeled each other.
The combatants traded political barbs and personal attacks, including multiple negative mailers sent by both camps to residents.
Several voters said they did not like the negative campaigning, but that the mailers did partially influence their vote.
Christopher Benson, who voted for Carney, said he tried to disregard negative campaign ads but typically dismiss a candidate who uses them. But, he said the mailers in the box prompted him and his wife, Joy, to look closer into all the candidates to see what their platforms were.
“But they really didn’t have any platforms,” at least not any that were evident,” the retired New York City firefighter said. “I tend to vote based on platform and then people send out negative ads, it makes me think that they don’t have a very strong position if they’re personally attacking the other person. I’m kind of an idea person so I feel like running on the strengths of one’s ideas is the best way to go.”
In the four-person race for Seat 3, of the 6,835 votes cast, Michael Katz garnered 2,274 to 1,950 by Christina Morrison, 1,477 by Bruce Bastian and 1,134 by Josh Smith, according to unofficial results.