Who doesn’t like incumbents? State legislative veterans win primaries

Aug 29, 2018
Florida’s old and new capitol buildings with the Confederate Monument in the right foreground - Tallahassee, Florida (State Archives of Florida)

It was a good night for the Palm Beach County legislative veterans on the ballot.

State Sen. Bobby Powell, D-Riviera Beach, won his race handily while State Rep. David Silver, D-West Palm Beach, got a return ticket to Tallahassee.

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Powell, who joined the Florida Senate in 2016, won a four-year term to represent District 30. A 36-year-old urban planner and former state representative, Powell fought back a challenge from rival Rubin Anderson, a substitute teacher and one-time candidate for West Palm Beach mayor and Florida governor.

Silver, who was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2016, won a third term to represent District 87. Silvers, 39, is the president of a Boca Raton book development and licensing business. He defeated Edgardo Hernandez, a 32-year-old attorney who runs his own Palm Spring practice.

In the State Senate District 25 Republican primary, State Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, won a primary against Belinda Keiser, 59, vice chancellor of the private Keiser University. Harrell is an 18-year veteran of the Florida House. She took a two-year break beginning in 2009. Keiser had previously run for office in 2000 — another unsuccessful bid to join the Florida House.

In other key legislative races, Democrats Tina Polsky and Jim Bonfiglio and Republican Mike Caruso prevailed in their races.

Polsky won the primary in House District 81. Polsky, 50, is an attorney from Boca Raton. She was backed by the outgoing incumbent in the seat, State Rep. Joe Abruzzo.

In House District 89, Tuesday’s results set up a a Nov. 6 general election match between the GOP’s Caruso, 59, a Delray Beach CPA, and Democrat Bonfiglio, 64, who is the mayor of Ocean Ridge James Bonfiglio.