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1 incumbent clinches Jupiter Town Council seat; runoff set for another

One incumbent won another term and another incumbent faces a March 28 runoff after Tuesday’s Jupiter town council elections.

Wayne Posner, a retired commercial general contractor and resident of Jupiter Country Club, defeated two challengers in the first district who were critical of his support of the Love Street project. The restaurant/retail project on A1A has been scaled back about 25 percent from its original size.

“Jupiter residents are OK with a balanced approach to development. Good development is doable. We have to make it profitable. We want to approve projects that are not overbuilt that we will be proud of for the entire community,” said Posner, 67.

Ron Delaney, the incumbent in the second district, barely missed winning the 50 percent majority for victory. Delaney will face Ben Klug in a runoff on March 28.

Klug, a custom metal fabricator for 19 years for General Sheet Metal Works, got the second largest number of votes. The third candidate was Heidi Epstein.

Delaney opposes the Love Street project. Klug favors the scaled-down plan.

“In a three-person race, anything can happen. We ran hard,” said Delaney, 53, who has been owner/operator for the past 13 years of East Coast Foods, a home delivery food service.

Klug, who has served on the council and is currently on the planning and zoning commission, said his campaign goal was to hold Delaney to 50 percent and force a runoff.

Development — especially along the town waterfront in the Inlet Village on A1A from Jupiter Beach Road north to U.S. 1 — was the major issue, the candidates agreed.

But Klug said development was not the only issue on voters’ minds.

“Education, preserving Jupiter’s history and having paid leave for town employees are other issues that residents are interested in. It’s not just development people care about,” he said.

Posner’s message of smarter, smaller development was a big part of his victory, said Carol “CD” Watson, one of his two opponents. His other opponent Teri Grooms, also opposed Love Street.

“People in Jupiter think reasonable development is a good thing. People are looking for a balanced approach, and that is what (Posner) presented. That resonated with residents,” said Watson.

Grooms said she would continue opposing development in Jupiter.

“The small turnout really hurt us,” she said.

One of the platforms of Watson’s campaign was getting a woman on the five-member council.

“I was disapointed in the women’s vote for me. They did not materialize,” said Watson.

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