Michelle Oyola McGovern’s list of endorsers grows in her bid for PBC Commission
Image via TechToday Newspaper.

Carrie Bradburn/CAPEHART
The candidate is in a four-way race to represent the agricultural section of the county.

Michelle Oyola McGovern’s campaign for Palm Beach County Commission unveiled a new set of endorsements Friday that run the gamut from the Senate Democratic Leader to a Port of Palm Beach Commissioner.

McGovern, who is making her first bid for public office, said this broad support reflects her long history in the community. The latest round of nods to her campaign means that more than 50 elected leaders, community leaders and civic organizations have agreed she’s the best candidate for the job.

“Having the support … is a testament to my unique background, broad knowledge of the entire district and our positive grassroots campaign focusing on solutions instead of politics,” McGovern said in a prepared statement.

McGovern, a Democrat, is competing for the right to succeed term-limited Commissioner Melissa McKinlay representing District 6, which is the agricultural area of the county. Democratic state Rep. Matt Willhite is her chief competitor in the Primary. Sylvia Sharps, a county water utility grant writer, is also vying for the Democratic nomination for the seat.

The winner in the Primary contest will face Republican Sara Baxter.

McGovern now works as the director of government and community relations at Baptist Health South Florida. For 18 years, though, she was a staffer in Sen. Bill Nelson’s office, working as the liaison between the federal government and local governments in Palm Beach County.

McGovern won the endorsement of the outgoing Commissioner. And now more are throwing their weight behind her candidacy.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book is on her list of endorsers, as is Associated General Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter.

Other elected and community leaders supporting her are:

— Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores.

— Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto.

— North Palm Beach Mayor Deborah Searcy.

— West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James as well as West Palm Beach City Commission President Christy Fox and Commissioners Christina Lambert, Joseph Peduzzi and Shalonda Warren.

— Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Chelsea Reed as well as the city’s Vice Mayor Rachelle Litt.

— Palm Beach County School Board members Alexandria AyalaKaren Brill and Erica Whitfield.

— Loxahatchee Groves Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia.

— Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Joseph Anderson.

— Westlake Councilwoman Pilar Valle Ron.

— West Boynton Beach Community Leader Beth Rappaport.

The district McGovern is vying to represent covers several western communities, largely regarded as the agricultural part of Palm Beach County, such as Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay and Wellington.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn