State and local candidates on 2018 ballot


Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, three county school board incumbents and two local state House members automatically won re-election on Friday when no one filed to run against them before Florida’s candidate qualifying deadline.

Boynton Beach City Commissioner Joseph Casello, a Democrat, also walked into a state House seat without opposition — a rare occurrence for a non-incumbent.

Friday at noon was the deadline for state and local candidates to submit paperwork and pay fees to appear on the 2018 ballot. The governor’s race ended up attracting eight Republicans, seven Democrats, four no-party candidates and a Reform Party candidate.

Candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House and judicial offices had their qualifying deadline in May.

Aside from McKinlay, incumbents winning new terms without opposition in Palm Beach County included: state Reps. Al Jacquet, D-Delray Beach, and Emily Slosberg, D-Boca Raton; school board members Karen Brill, Erica Whitfield and Marcia Andrews; and Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Blair Ciklin.

As happens nearly every qualifying period, there was late drama.

Jacquet nearly missed his free pass to re-election, showing up at the Division of Elections headquarters in Tallahassee moments before the deadline. His financial disclosure and appointment of treasurer forms were logged in with an 11:59 a.m. time stamp, and the division’s website didn’t report him as qualified until nearly 6 p.m.

In Palm Beach County, Democratic Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Peyton McArthur waited until16 minutes before noon to file papers at the county elections office to run for the open District 2 county commission seat. The seat is now held by term-limited Democrat Paulette Burdick, for whom McArthur works as an aide.

Burdick said she is “absolutely” endorsing McArthur over the three other Democrats running for the District 2 seat.

Republicans did not field a candidate in District 2 or in McKinlay’s western District 6, allowing her to win a second term unopposed. McKinlay raised more than $190,000 for her re-election effort.

“I am humbled and honored to serve another term on the County Commission representing the diverse communities in District 6 and look forward to focusing all of our attention on my constituents without the distraction of a campaign.” McKinlay said Friday. She thanked “all of my supporters for believing in me and all of my critics for making me work harder to learn both sides of the issues.”

In District 4 — a Delray Beach-Boca Raton seat the GOP has held for more than a quarter-century — political unknown William “Billy” Vale was the only Republican to file for the seat that Steven Abrams is leaving because of term limits. Former Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, a Republican, was considered a heavy favorite to win the seat before being charged with official misconduct in April and withdrawing from the race.

After Haynie dropped out, two other Republicans — county GOP Chairman Michael Barnett and former Delray Beach City Commissioner Christina Morrison — announced District 4 candidacies but backed out of running in recent weeks.

Democrat Robert Weinroth, a Boca Raton city commissioner, is well-positioned to win the District 4 seat, which would give Democrats a 6-1 advantage on the county commission. Weinroth had raised more than $112,000 in contributions through May 31 while Vale had collected $5,522.



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