Sanquetta Cowan-Williams, Everett McPherson elected to Pahokee City Council

Sanquetta Cowan-Williams Everett McPherson
Both won 3-year terms.

Two new members of the Pahokee Council are headed to City Hall.

In the city’s runoff election, voters replaced incumbent Council member Sara Perez with community activist Sanquetta Cowan-Williams in Group 2.

They also chose retired assistant prison warden Everett McPherson over small-business owner Monique Gordon. McPherson will replace outgoing Group 1 Councilman Juan “Johnny” Gonzalez, whom he and Gordon outpaced in the city’s General Election last month.

Cowan-Williams took 63% of the vote, while McPherson won with 53.5%.

Both won three-year terms.

Cowan-Williams is an education professional who has worked with the Palm Beach County School District, according to her LinkedIn page. She made at least one prior attempt at running for the City Council, but Tuesday marked her first success in doing so.

In the city’s General Election on March 19, Perez narrowly led Cowan-Williams 37-35%, with just eight votes separating them. Third-place candidate Tiana Mitchell took 28% of the vote, representing 151 ballots cast.

Perez, a small business owner, first won her seat in 2021.

McPherson, a 59-year Pahokee resident who enjoyed the backing of the Florida Democratic Party, took 41% of the vote last month while Gordon received 32%. Just 47 votes separated them.

Gonzalez, meanwhile, had 26% of the vote, representing 140 ballots cast his way.

McPherson said during his campaign that the city’s most important issues are communication, transparency, housing and economic development.

Gordon — a finance educator with the nonprofit Prime Time Palm Beach County, adjunct professor at Florida International University and small business owner — focused on government responsiveness and improving residents’ financial literacy and mobility.

Pahokee has a population of approximately 5,357 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of them, 54% are Black or African American, 34% are Hispanic or Latino and 11% are non-Hispanic White. About 18% are mixed-race.

The median household income is $36,289. Nearly a third of all residents live in poverty.

Fewer than 525 Pahokee residents cast ballots in the city’s runoff.

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.

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