Incumbent and vice mayor Mack McCray out-polled political newcomer Dr. Jim DeVoursney for the District 2 commission seat late Tuesday night, but he didn’t gain enough votes for the outright win — the two will meet again in a runoff this month.
McCray failed to obtain 50 percent plus 1 of the votes needed to win Tuesday’s election. Former Mayor Woodrow Hay lost to both candidates.
“The people spoke. We have to do what they say,” said McCray, 67.
The runoff is Tuesday, March 28.
“I’m disappointed but happy to live to fight another day,” said DeVoursney, 55.
The District 4 commission seat went to incumbent Joe Casello, who ran unopposed.
Only residents in District 2, which runs from Boynton Beach Boulevard to south of Hypoluxo Road and covers mainly the east portion of the city, were able to vote. The district covers the Heart of Boynton, which is home to some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Redeveloping that area is an ongoing challenge for the elected officials.
The term for the seat is three years, and the annual salary is $18,711.
Of the city’s 46,981 registered voters, 10,558 live in District 2. Of those district voters, about 52 percent are black, about 33 percent are white, about 8 percent are Hispanic and about 7 percent identified as “other,” according to Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections data.
If DeVoursney wins in two weeks, he would be the latest of several residents new to the political world to be elected to office: Residents elected Mayor Steven Grant and Commissioner Christina Romelus, District 3, last March. Also, Commissioner Justin Katz, District 1, ran unopposed in that race.
DeVoursney, a 55-year-old dermatologist said participation in public discussion about a controversial project called Casa Del Mar made him aware of his passion for city government. The project is under construction adjacent to his home on the Intracoastal Waterway. DeVoursney is a member of the CRA’s advisory board, and is president of the Inlet Cove Association, an association of residential communities along Federal Highway.
McCray, 67, said he wants to remain in the seat to be able to continue his work with the current “cohesive” commission.
He said there’s no need to change the current commission.
“We have a lot of things on the plate. We have right now a group of individuals elected officials who work together now. It seems no one has a hidden agenda we’re there for the betterment for the citizens of Boynton and I want to continue to be a part of that cohesiveness that we have formed here in the city,” McCray said.
While Hay, 72, and McCray have shared the District 2 seat for about a decade, this was the first time the two ran against one another.
Hay said he plans to remain involved in city politics despite losing.
“The people have spoken and I wish them both good luck and may the best person win,” he said.