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Delray election: Chard, Johnson apparent winners

The Delray Beach City Commission will welcome two newcomers after Tuesday’s municipal elections. Jim Chard and Shirley Johnson beat their opponents handily, according to unofficial results from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Both Chard and Johnson, with all precincts reporting, appeared to have the majority vote in a citywide election that requires only a plurality to win. They’ll join the five-person commission that will be responsible for approving or denying major developments, hiring high-ranking city staff and regulating the city’s sober home industry.

Chard, a retired business executive, defeated Kelly Barrette for Seat 2. Barrette is owner and founder of TakeBackDelrayBeach, an advocacy Facebook page.

Two other candidates in the race, Richard Alteus and Anneze Barthelemy, didn’t come close to those two. Alteus is a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy and Barthelemy is a chaplain and social worker.

“I think this is really a reinforcement of the direction that Delray has been taking for the last 25 or 30 years,” Chard said. “We don’t want to go backward; we want to move forward.”

Johnson, a retired business administrator, beat Josh Smith, a retired educator.

More than 6,000 votes were counted.

Both Chard and Johnson said during the campaign that they want to promote development in areas that could use an economic boost, such as the Congress Avenue Corridor and areas along Atlantic Avenue west of Swinton Avenue.

They both also support the current commission’s effort to tighten restrictions on sober homes.

Barrette and Smith ran with the endorsements of sitting Commissioners Shelly Petrolia and Mitch Katz, who typically formed the minority vote on divisive city issues, such as proposed developments.

The pair, who ran on low-growth and resident-oriented platforms, had hoped to win seats and land shift the power dynamic of the city commission.

“The majority of people on Delray seem to want a more urban vision for the city,” Barrette said shortly after the results came in. “I have to accept that.”

She plans to remain involved in city politics.

Chard and Johnson couldn’t be reached for comment by publication time.

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