City Commissioner Sylvia Moffett appeared to have fended off two challengers handily Tuesday, returning to the District 1 seat for another two years.
The five-year incumbent, who is president of the commission, was the only one of five members up for re-election this year. Her recent vote in favor of raises for the mayor and commissioners, though it drew criticism, didn’t keep her from defeating two first-time candidates from African-American sections of the district who focused on fighting poverty — Ricky Aiken and Martina Walker.
“Our city needs more jobs,” Moffett said Tuesday night.
She said West Palm needs to work on getting rid of crime in the north end by increasing home ownership. Moffett added that the city also needs to work hard to improve the Broadway corridor by creating a multi-culture center for day laborers. A growing wave of heroin addiction is also a huge concern, she stressed.
Aiken, a 28-year-old social agency worker born and raised on the Tamarind Avenue corridor had argued that the district needed “indigenous leadership” and not a savior mentality from outsiders. “A safer inner city makes a safer overall city,” he said, an important point in a race decided by voters citywide.
“My mindset going in is, whether I win or lose, I feel like I won because I provided an example for people in my community to look to, instead of complaining … getting our skin in the game,” he said after voting Tuesday.
“Seeing my name on the ballot with Hillary Clinton, that was crazy. It’s all surreal. I’m just enjoying the process.”
Aiken said he looked forward to working with Moffett after the election. “I want to be an asset to the city and be a model to the city and help engage and get my part of the district involved.”
Walker, 67-year-old pastor for the Omnipotent Outreach Ministry, said she, too, felt like a winner for having run. “I feel good because I have people that are supporting me. That’s good right there.”
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