Peggy Gossett-Seidman gets by political novice in Palm Beach County’s HD 91

The Highland Beach Town Commissioner will be competing with Boca Raton Councilman Andy Thomson in November.

Highland Beach Commissioner Peggy Gossett-Seidman got by a political novice in a Republican Primary happening in a Democratic-leaning Palm Beach County House District.

With all the precincts reporting, Gossett-Seidman drew 53% of the vote to secure the Republican nomination to represent House District 91. That compares to the 47% Christina DuCasse garnered.

Now, Gossett-Seidman will go on to meet the Democrat in the race, Boca Raton City Councilman Andy Thomas in November. They will be competing to represent the district that covers Boca Raton, along with parts of Highland Beach and West Boca.

Election data analysis shows House District 91 became more conservative in redistricting. Election data analyst Matt Isbell of MCI Maps found that the district went for President Joe Biden by 4.5 points in 2020. Now, Republicans’ state organization is investing in flipping this district that has no incumbent.

Gossett-Seidman was elected to the Highland Town Commission in 2018 and most of her online campaign material draws a contrast to her Democratic opponent, Thomson.

Meanwhile, DuCasse presented herself as an “America First” candidate, retweeting election controversies.

Both candidates have high praise for Gov. Ron DeSantis, but the two campaigns had markedly different points of emphasis.

Gossett-Seidman’s campaign materials don’t mention DuCasse and take aim at Thomson chiefly, as “another woke liberal in hiding,” but most of her focus is on being fiscally conservative, while improving infrastructure, protecting natural resources and supporting law enforcement.

“I’m a fiscal conservative, focused on commonsense solutions to everyday problems,” she says in a video posted on her site.

Gossett-Seidman doesn’t mention election security on her website, but DuCasse addressed it in her campaign materials: “I’ll fight to ensure election integrity,” she says on her campaign website.

Other statements from DuCasse went into culture-war territory. She said that she’ll make sure that schools “educate, not indoctrinate,” and are kept free of “CRT” which stands for “critical race theory.” Palm Beach County school officials say it’s not being taught.

Her approach had echoes of a more conservative side of the Republican Party, compared to her Primary opponent.

“We need to take our Constitutional Republic back the way our Founding Fathers intended it to be — a government of the people by the people and for the people,” she says on a video posted to her site.

Gossett-Seidman was the clear leader in the money race, with a lopsided advantage over her Primary rival. She also drew support from the Florida House Republican Campaign Committee. She raised $69,685 and added $200,000 of her own money in loans through the whole election cycle

DuCasse, in contrast, raised $10,000 from donors and gave her campaign a $1,268 loan. While Gossett-Seidman’s spending has hit $150,000 since July 2, DuCasse’s spending was almost $2,500 in the same period.

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].


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