Lake Worth Beach voters oust Pam Triolo, opt for former city attorney Betty Resch to serve as Mayor
Image via AP.

ballot vote
It was not a good night for incumbents in Lake Worth Beach, as two commissioners are also losing their seats.

Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo is on her way out of office after three terms, as voters preferred former city attorney Betty Resch.

Ex-property caretaker Ron Hensley and private investigator William Joseph also ran in Tuesday’s mayoral contest. According to Tuesday’s unofficial results, Resch earned 54% support, followed by Triolo at 34%, Joseph at 9% and Hensley at 3%.

Voters also weighed in on three contested Commission races, one of which appears headed for a runoff and the other two showing incumbents going down alongside Triolo.

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 tried to make that chaos an issue in the race. She also said she would consider backing term limits. Voters responded to that message, giving her a win.

Joseph, who was born in Haiti, pushed for a more inclusive government and emphasized the need to get tourism back on track. Hensley ran a quieter campaign, focused on “positive change.”

The Commission seats in Districts 1, 2 and 3 were also up for grabs Tuesday night.

The District 1 and 3 races were regularly scheduled elections and featured incumbents trying to retain their seats. Commissioner Scott Maxwell faced entrepreneur Sarah Malega in a rematch of the 2018 contest for the same seat. Maxwell edged out Malega three years ago.

This year’s contest wasn’t close, but it was Malega coming out on top. According to the unofficial results, she earned 65% of the vote to Maxwell’s 35%.

The District 3 contest featured Commissioner Andy Amoroso fending off two challengers: environmental activist Drew Martin and math editor Kimberly Stokes.

Again, voters opted for new blood. Stokes earned 55% support, followed by Amoroso at 35% and Martin at 10%.

The District 2 race sought 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 ran to complete Hardy’s term, which runs through March 2022. Paola Branda, scientist Christopher McVoy and app developer Ryan Oblander also competed in the four-way contest.

However, it appears no candidates received above 50% support, which sends the race to a runoff between the top two finishers. Those would be McVoy and Blockson, who earned 46% and 41%, respectively. Oblander secured 9%, while Branda courted just 4% support.

Ryan Nicol

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 [email protected].


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