A good night for long-time incumbents – but not Addie Greene – in Palm Beach County municipal electionsby George Bennett | March 12th, 2014
It’s dangerous to extrapolate large patterns from the crazy quilt of 19 municipal elections in Palm Beach County on Tuesday.
But PostOnPolitics.com will do so anyway.
Some long-time incumbents — including 21-year Palm Beach Gardens Councilman Eric Jablin, 20-year Royal Palm Beach fixture Matty Mattioli, 12-year Boca Raton Councilwoman Susan Haynie — prevailed in contentious races Tuesday as municipal voters generally sided with the status quo.
Jablin survived a challenge from Michael Peragine, who spent more than $100,000 trying to dislodge the incumbent but fell short with 48.9 percent.
Mattioli, 86, has held elected office in Royal Palm Beach since 1994 and has been mayor since 2010. Criticized for his brusque manner, he squeaked to re-election with 37.2 percent over three challengers. Runner-up Felicia Matula finished 28 votes behind and got 35.7 percent, not close enough for a recount.
Haynie, who served on the Boca council from 2000 to 2006 and again since 2008, won an expensive mayor’s race over council colleague Anthony Majhess in Palm Beach County’s second-largest city.
In Wellington, incumbents Howard Coates and Anne Gerwig retained their council seats after the Florida Democratic Party waded into the nonpartisan race on behalf of challengers Matt Kurit and Sharon Lascola.
While it was generally a good night for political veterans, there was a notable exception in Mangonia Park, where Councilwoman Addie Greene narrowly lost her re-election bid. Greene served on the Mangonia Park council from 1986 to 1992 before winning four state House terms and three Palm Beach County commission elections. She resigned from the county commission in 2009, but came back to the Mangonia Park council in 2011. Challenger Kelisha Buchanan-Webb got 90 votes to 81 for Greene and 18 for Ariyan Alipanah.