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Joe Abruzzo is a shoo-in, facing only a write in candidiate.

South Florida

Joe Abruzzo to face write-in candidate in Palm Beach Clerk’s race after Shannon Chessman withdraws

Abruzzo officially launched his bid Thursday.

Former Sen. Joe Abruzzo has secured the Democratic nomination in the Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller‘s race after his Democratic opponent, Shannon Chessman, withdrew from the contest.

Chessman works as the Clerk’s chief operating officer. Outgoing Clerk Sharon Bock endorsed him earlier this year after Bock decided against running for reelection.

Abruzzo began floating a run last week before officially launching a bid Thursday. The announcement was replete with endorsements from state and local leaders such as Sens. Lori Berman and Kevin Rader, Reps. Joe CaselloDavid SilversEmily Slosberg and Matt Willhite, and Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg.

“We are building a county-wide coalition of leaders to ensure we have the resources and support needed to run and win the Democratic Primary on Aug. 18,” Abruzzo said.

“I can’t thank the community and elected leaders enough for helping launch our campaign. I’m excited to connect with thousands of voters throughout the next months about the vision for the office and how I believe it can best serve the public.”

One day later, Chessman is now listed as “Withdrawn” on the county’s elections website. That leaves only Abruzzo and write-in candidate Engracia Bondonese.

Abruzzo would be the heavy favorite in November, given the support he’s secured so far and the standard difficulties inherent in mounting a successful write-in campaign.

Abruzzo stepped away from state politics in 2018 to raise his young son after a messy divorce. He served 10 years in the Legislature.

“Serving in the state Senate provided me the opportunity to work on the public’s behalf in finance, auditing and governmental budgeting for our state. Now I’m asking to continue this work here at home,” Abruzzo said in a Thursday campaign announcement.

“If I’m fortunate to be elected, transparency, accountability and efficiency in addition to protecting the public records of our residents while providing exceptional customer service will always be our primary focus. The incredibly hard-working employees of the office are the foundation for success and will always be treated as such.”

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to

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