Published On: Mon, Jan 13th, 2020

Boca mayor has a single challenger in March 17 city election

By Dale King

Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer will be the only candidate with a challenger on March 17 when the city holds its annual election.

Singer, who is vying for his first uninterrupted term in city government, faces a familiar foe – Bernard Korn, one of two rivals who tried to unseat him in a special election in August 2018.

Two incumbent Boca Raton City Council members have technically won back their seats without a fight. Neither Andrea Levine O’Rourke nor Andy Thomson drew a rival during the week-long candidate filing period which ended Friday, said City Clerk Susan Saxton.

That doesn’t mean there’ll be a dearth of excitement in the mid-March race which, coincidentally, falls on St. Patrick’s Day.  The state of Florida will conduct its presidential preference primary that day.

Korn could not be reached for comment about his candidacy late Sunday night. When he ran against Singer in 2018, he said he was also registered to seek the U.S. presidency. He still has a website stating he is a presidential hopeful.

Boca Raton has endured a somewhat winding government situation in the past couple of years.  Mayor Susan Haynie was suspended from that office by then-Gov. Rick Scott in April of 2018 after she was arrested on charges related to alleged official misconduct and misuse of public office.

Singer, then a City Council member and deputy mayor, was tapped to fill the job on an interim basis. On Aug. 28, Singer won a special election called to solidify his mayoral term. Korn and Al Zucaro unsuccessfully ran against him.

This didn’t totally answer all questions relating to Haynie. Technically, if she were acquitted of the charges, she could have returned to fill out the remainder of her term, which will end on Election Day 2020. Haynie’s trial has been set for March 23, about a week after the Boca balloting.

In the meantime, Thomson was elected to fill Singer’s vacant council seat. O’Rourke is concluding her first three-year stint on the council and, by City Charter, is allowed one more full term before she is barred from running due to term limits.

On Jan. 7, Singer sent out an email saying he had qualified to run for re-election. The document included the names of more than 400 people who he said have endorsed him. It also said he had gained the support of the Firefighters and Paramedics of Boca Raton, the city’s police union, the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association and the Realtors associations of Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.

Among Singer supporters from the political arena are former Mayor and Mrs. Steven Abrams, current City Council members Thomson and Monica Mayotte and former Council members Wanda Thayer and Dave Freudenberg.

Since becoming mayor, Singer said, the city’s crime rate is down 14%. “We’ve partnered with the School District to add student seats and increase school security.”  He said taxes are low, millions have been spent on upgrades in green space and infrastructure and the city just gave the OK for Brightline/Virgin USA to add a train station and garage downtown.

According to information in a previously published Boca Raton Tribune story, Korn graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and finance at Brooklyn College in New York and served as a law enforcement officer for two years in the 1980s. He later worked in adult education at a Brooklyn high school and is currently a licensed real estate broker and instructor.

Polls in Boca Raton on Election Day will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those who want to cast ballots in the presidential preference primary must be registered as a Democrat, Republican or a member of another recognized party. A list of parties whose members can vote is available on the website of the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections.

Anyone who is not registered with a party can do so until Feb. 18.

While the primary election is for party registrants only, the Boca municipal balloting is nonpartisan and open to all registered local voters.

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