Bernard wins with 60.5 percent in state House 84 special electionby George Bennett | August 26th, 2009
Bernard, a 33-year-old Democrat, defeated Riviera Beach Councilman and fellow Democrat Cedrick Thomas in the race to fill the seat of Priscilla Taylor, who left the state House in June when Gov. Charlie Crist appointed her to the Palm Beach County commission.
Turnout was about 4.7 percent — even lower than the 4.9 percent turnout of eligible Palm Beach County voters for a special Senate election three weeks earlier.
“I’m excited. This is a great opportunity….I’m happy to represent the people of District 84,” Bernard said Tuesday night from a party at Pistache restaurant in West Palm Beach.
He called Thomas “a great city councilman in Riviera Beach.”
District 84 is about 54 percent black. Bernard will be the only black member of Palm Beach County’s state House delegation.
Bernard lives outside District 84 and couldn’t vote in Tuesday’s election, but said he plans to move into the district before he takes office Sept. 22.
Sept. 22 is the date when a general election was scheduled to fill the seat. But because only Democrats Bernard and Thomas filed for the seat, the general election was canceled and Tuesday’s Democratic primary was opened to all voters regardless of party affiliation and determined who would fill the seat.
Bernard raised nearly $70,000 — including $15,000 of his own money — for the race while Thomas raised $27,106.