Tuesday’s Lake Worth Beach election will see four contested races, including three different candidates trying to oust Mayor Pam Triolo.
Ex-property caretaker Ron Hensley, private investigator William Joseph and former city attorney Betty Resch are all vying to replace Triolo. To win the race outright, a candidate must earn at least 50% of the vote. That’s difficult, but not impossible, in a four-person contest, but it’s possible this could turn into a runoff race between the top two finishers.
The Palm Beach Post endorsed Triolo in her quest for a fourth term as Mayor. Triolo did earn some criticism last year after engaging in a heated back-and-forth with former Commissioner Omari Hardy, who now serves in the Florida House. The two battled over the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hardy said the city was dragging its feet in discussing vital issues.
“You didn’t want to meet!” Hardy exclaimed to Triolo. “But every other year you go around and beg people for their votes!”
Triolo responded by trying to recess the meeting. “Point of order! You are done. You’re done. You’re done. Disrespectful.” She also accused Hardy of grandstanding for the cameras. That was just one example of the often-combative meetings in Lake Worth Beach.
Resch has tried to make that chaos an issue in the race. She also said she’d consider backing term limits. Joseph, who was born in Haiti, has pushed for a more inclusive government and emphasized the need to get tourism back on track. Hensley has run a quieter campaign, focused on “positive change.”
The Commission seats in Districts 1, 2 and 3 are also up for grabs Tuesday night.
The District 1 and 3 races are regularly scheduled elections and feature incumbents trying to retain their seats. Commissioner Scott Maxwell is facing entrepreneur Sarah Malega in a rematch of the 2018 contest for the same seat. Maxwell edged out Malega three years ago.
The Seat 3 contest features Commissioner Andy Amoroso fending off two challengers: environmental activist Drew Martin and math editor Kimberly Stokes.
The Seat 2 race will land on a replacement for Hardy, who vacated his spot on the Commission to run for state House.
Carla Blockson was appointed to hold the seat until the election and she’s seeking to complete Hardy’s term, which runs through March 2022. Paola Branda, scientist Christopher McVoy and app developer Ryan Oblander are also competing in the four-way contest.