Second-term Rep. Mike Caruso, a Delray Beach Republican, has been selected as the next chair of the Palm Beach County Legislative Delegation. He’ll step up from the vice chair role he’s held for the past year.
The delegation’s by-laws require the chair role to alternate between Democrats and Republicans. Caruso will succeed Democratic Rep. David Silvers as chair.
Caruso earned the nod during a Thursday morning delegation meeting. The members also selected Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky as vice chair, putting her next in line to serve as the delegation’s chair.
Republican Rep. Rick Roth formally nominated Caruso to serve as chair during Thursday’s meeting.
“I think he could do a great job,” Roth said. “He’s a very influential Representative. He works well with the delegation.”
Caruso thanked his colleagues for the selection, saying he appreciated the delegation’s confidence.
“We’ve got some serious issues with infrastructure, with sea level rise, with building integrity of our coastline buildings. So we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Caruso said of next year’s Legislative Session. “It’s going to be an extremely productive year and I look forward to working with all of you.”
He also gave a shout-out to his predecessor.
“Chair Silvers, you’ve always demonstrated great leadership, character and integrity, and always showed the need to work with people, not against them,” Caruso said.
“You’ve kept the partisanship to a minimum and kept the focus on the needs of Palm Beach County. So I thank you for your service and it’s my hope to carry on your great work.”
Silvers reflected on his time leading the delegation during last year’s Legislative Session, which was the first full Session since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state.
“It’s an honor to be here in the Legislature and on the dais, but to be a member of the leadership and to be the chair for the last year, it’s really quite a humbling experience,” Silvers said.
“I love working with all of you. It really is humbling. It’s been a great experience.”
Democratic Sen. Lori Berman nominated Polsky to serve as vice chair.
“Tina is an attorney and a mediator, and she has been quite an effective legislator with those skills,” Berman said. “She’s shown leadership in her bills and appropriations and I am sure she will be a benefit for Palm Beach County.”
Polsky entered the Legislature in 2018, winning the House District 81 seat. After one term, Polsky was recruited to replace Democratic Sen. Kevin Rader in Senate District 29 after Rader decided against running for a second term. She won that seat in Nov. 2020.
“I really enjoy our delegation,” Polsky said Thursday after securing the vice chair role. “We have a big, diverse one and I’m very proud to be part of it. Thank you for your confidence in me and I look forward to working with all of you going forward.”