Palm Beach police union backs Michelle Oyola McGovern in County Commission race
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'I will prioritize public safety, support our police, and work to ensure our first responders have the resources, equipment, and training they need.'

The Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association is endorsing Democratic candidate Michelle Oyola McGovern as she runs for the District 6 seat on the Palm Beach County Commission.

The county’s police union is notably supporting McGovern over Democratic Primary opponent and outgoing state Rep. Matt Willhite. Willhite is an experienced firefighter who has courted support from firefighter organizations in the region.

Nevertheless, the Palm Beach police union is backing McGovern in the four-way contest, which also features Republican candidate Sara Baxter and Democratic candidate Sylvia L. Sharps.

“I am honored to receive the support of these dedicated women and men who put their lives on the line every day to keep our community safe,” McGovern said in a Friday statement announcing the endorsement.

“As County Commissioner, I will prioritize public safety, support our police, and work to ensure our first responders have the resources, equipment, and training they need to do their job.”

McGovern, a veteran of former U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s Office, is the narrow fundraising front-runner in the District 6 contest, holding a small lead over Willhite. She spent more than a decade working as Nelson’s regional director in West Palm Beach. She then served as Nelson’s state director.

After Nelson lost his 2018 re-election bid, McGovern took on a role as director of government and community relations at Baptist Health South Florida.

The newest endorsement adds to the list of McGovern’s backers in the region. Outgoing District 6 Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who faces term limits heading into 2022, has already endorsed McGovern as her preferred successor.

U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel are also behind McGovern. Several Glades officials have announced they’ll support McGovern as well.

Willhite decided against running for a fourth House term to instead pursue the County Commission seat. Sharps, the third Democrat seeking the nomination, is a former Commission candidate. Baxter, a real estate agent, is the only Republican running so far.

The District 6 boundaries span several western communities in the county such as Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay and Wellington.

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].

One comment

  • Comment

    April 22, 2022 at 4:53 pm

    Good ole West Palm Beach police policy give the sex trafficking assault the mugshots and address weight and age for

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