Delray Beach voters bring back Tom Carney as Mayor, elect 2 Commissioners

Tom Carney
About 19% of the ‘Village by the Sea’s’ approximately 66,000 residents cast ballots.

Tom Carney, a former Commissioner and one-time Mayor of Delray Beach backed by the Florida GOP, is returning as the city’s top elected official.

Voters selected him over two opponents. His win flipped the mayoralty blue.

Delray Beach also elected former Commissioner Juli Casale back to the five-person panel. She’ll serve in Seat 3.

And first-time candidate Tom Markert will join them after beating two others for the right to replace outgoing Seat 1 Commissioner Adam Frankel, who is running for Palm Beach County Public Defender.

Each won a three-year term.

Nearly 59% of voters also shot down a ballot measure that would have eliminated Delray Beach’s Board of Adjustment, which handles zoning appeals and variance decisions.

Carney, who served a short stint as Mayor in 2013 before losing a bid for the office the same year, took 51.7% of the vote to defeat Vice Mayor Ryan Boylston and former Commissioner Shirley Johnson.

Boylston took 37.8% of the vote, while Jackson won 10.5%.

Juli Casale is returning to the Delray Beach Commission after a year away. Image via Juli Casale.

Carney will succeed Mayor Shelly Petrolia, a Democrat, in Seat 5. Petrolia supported his campaign, but Carney’s win still represents a flipped seat favoring Republicans.

Casale, who lost in an upset last year to current Deputy Vice Mayor Rob Long, earned back a seat on the city dais with 42% of ballots cast in her favor.

She defeated Nick Coppola and Anneze Barthelemy, who respectively took 37% and 21% of the vote.

Markert, a former corporate CEO, narrowly edged out Jim Chard with 39% of the vote. Chard took 37%, while third-place Tennille DeCoste captured 24%.

About 19% of the “Village by the Sea’s” approximately 66,000 residents cast ballots.

Political newcomer Tom Markert outpaced two opponents in a close race for Seat 1. Image via Tom Markert/Facebook.

Yearslong concerns about overdevelopment in the coastal city weighed heavily on residents Tuesday, and the winning candidates all made statements ahead of Election Day that reflected voters’ wishes for a more measured approach to growth.

A past Chair of the Delray Beach Housing Authority and Vice Chair of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, among other related posts, Carney vowed to “fight overdevelopment and the traffic congestion that comes with it.”

“We have so many developments being approved without them being out of the ground that we have no idea what the effect is going to be on the infrastructure,” he told WPTV. “That’s really going to be important, because we have an aging infrastructure and we have residents that deserve better.

He also prioritized public safety, a more fiscally responsible government, reducing taxes and improving government-resident relations.

Casale previously served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Advisory Board, which makes recommendations to the City Commission about proposed new developments, and was on the board of a nonprofit focused on preserving historic buildings and places.

She similarly opposed needless overdevelopment.

So did Markert. He told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last month, “As good as Delray has been over the past 20 years at growing, we can lose it all in a heartbeat by making careless mistakes with overdevelopment in certain areas. We cannot do that.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

One comment

  • Joe Schmoe

    March 21, 2024 at 11:05 am

    “His win flipped the mayoralty blue.” No, it flipped it Red.

Comments are closed.


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