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2020

Florida Democrats claiming victory in Tuesday’s municipal elections

Democrats say they flipped 14 municipal offices while Republicans flipped 6.

Florida Democrats won and flipped more municipal council seats than did Republicans in Tuesday’s elections, leading the Florida Democratic Party to claim a statewide victory of sorts based on municipal contests.

According to a breakdown of party registrations tracked by the Democrats, their candidates won 34 city or town council seats across 22 municipalities in 9 counties on Tuesday, while Republicans won 29 city or town office races.

Along the way Democrats flipped 14 municipal offices, 10 from either Republican control and four from unaffiliated officers.  Republicans flipped just six offices, three from Democrats and three from officials who did to have any party affiliations, according to the Democrats’ tracking information.

Three races still were undecided, heading to canvassing boards Friday.

Many of the city offices are non-partisan, but the parties keep score, and usually recruit, train and support candidates.

FDP Chair Terrie Rizzo credited her party’s Campaign Blueprint” program launched in 2019 to better prepare Democrats to run for public office.

“We launched Campaign Blueprint in 2019 with a goal of recruiting, training and supporting candidates to win at the local level — and that is exactly what we did,” Rizzo said in a written statement. “Florida Democrats flipped three times as many local races as Republicans in the March elections, and we aren’t stopping now. We are going to continue to organize and take back our state at every level of government.”

According to the FDP, the seats Democrats flipped from Republicans included a Fort Myers Beach Town Council seat, a Mary Esther City Council seat, a Boynton Beach City Commissioner seat, a DelRay City Commissioner seat, a Palm Beach Gardens City Council seat, a Latana Town Council seat, a Clearwater City Council seat, a Gulfport City Council seat, a Kenneth City City Council seat, and an Oldsmar City Council seat.

The municipal offices that Democrats flipped from independents included two seats on the Winter Park City Commission, one on the Jupiter Inlet Colony Town Commission and one on the Latana Town Council.

The seats that Republicans flipped from Democrats were in Palm Beach Shores, Madeira Beach, and Redington Shores.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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