Sunday, March 26, 2017

Run-off elections on Tuesday, the Palm Beach Post editorial board endorsements, and scorecard for their picks last March 14th.

First, run-off elections can be very unpredictable:

For example, here’s what happened in the City of Lake Worth back in 2008:
Note the voter turnout. However, Dave Vespo didn’t get the 50% + 1 to win. See below what happened in the run-off.

Prior to the elections here in the City of Lake Worth reminded voters about the unpredictability of run-off elections. Basically it’s this: anything can happen because there are so many unknowns. For example, how many voters will turn out again? How much will the candidate that did not make the run-off tip the race one way or another? What endorsements will take on more significance and which not matter much at all?

And then, in the run-off two weeks later. . .
Note significantly lower voter turnout. Due to this election the Commission “flipped” decisions were subsequently made and problems created the City of Lake Worth is struggling to fix almost 9 years later for example, the City’s Casino at the Beach.

And going forward will newspapers and editorial boards, as the industry continues its decline, have much influence on the outcome? As Jack Shafer at PoliticoMagazine wrote in an article titled, “What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake?” when it began to chase the digital “chimera”. Or ultimately does it all really come down to the basics: knocking on doors, handing out flyers, and have the candidate out there asking for votes?

Who knows. Maybe next Tuesday will provide more answers.

On March 14th the Post made endorsements in 20 city and town elections and 5 municipalities had no endorsement from the newspaper at all (noted below). Of the 20 that did get endorsements there were 26 endorsements: 17 were picked right and 9 picks were wrong. In Highland Beach they were 0 for 3, in Greenacres 0 for 2, and here in Lake Worth were 1 for 2.

There are three run-off elections next Tuesday, March 28th, and they are in the cities of Boynton Beach and Palm Beach Gardens and the Town of Jupiter. So back to the influence and effectiveness of a newspaper endorsement, who did Post endorse?

Below is the list and the election results (percentage of the vote) from March 14th; the candidate highlighted in yellow was endorsed by the Post editorial board; the candidate in boldface is the challenger in the run-off on March 28th:
  • Boynton Beach Commission Dist. 2: Mack McCray (47%), in run-off with James “Jim” Devoursney (38%).
  • Palm Beach Gardens Council Group 5: Rachelle Litt (37%); in run-off with Joseph R. Russo (34%).
  • Jupiter Council Dist. 2: Ben Klug (40%), in run-off with Ron DeLaney (49%).
So, going into the run-off next Tuesday if any of the candidates above thinks they have a big advantage they better think again. As you’ll read below, there were some candidates, even incumbents, who may have made that same mistake in thinking they had it “all wrapped up”.

Here is the legend:
  • Highlighted in yellow are Post endorsements for candidates who won.
  • Names in bold red are those who were endorsed by the Post but DID NOT WIN the election.
*  =  Run-off election (3).
†  =  City election (5 total) did not receive an endorsement from the Post editorial board.

Note: Percentages below are rounded off.

Without further ado, the results:

—Steve B. Wilson (88%) defeated Yousef Muslet

—Mayor: Susan Haynie (55%)
—Council Seat A: Scott Singer (71%)
—Council Seat B: Andrea Levine O’Rourke (48%)

—Commission Dist. 2: Mack McCray endorsed by Post (47%), run-off with James “Jim” Devoursney (38%)

—Commission Seat 2: Jim Chard (56%)
—Commission Seat 4: Shirley Johnson (64%)

—Mayor: Jonathan G. Pearce (45%); lost to Joel Flores (55%)
—Council Dist. 5, three candidates: Michael Albert (20%); lost to Paula Bousquet (53%)

—Town Commission (vote for 5 candidates out of 7): Winners are Paul A. Lyons, Jr., Scott W. Morgan, Joan K. Orthwein, Thomas M. Stanley, and Donna S. White

—Mayor: Ron Brown (45%); lost to Carl Feldman (55%)
—Commission (3 candidates): Melissa Ebbs (43%); winner is Elyse Riesa (48%)
—Commission: Barry Donaldson (46%); lost to Rhoda Zelniker (54%)

—Mayor: Michael C. Brown (58%)

—Council Dist. 1: Wayne R. Posner (54%)
*—Council Dist. 2: Ben Klug (40%), run-off on 3/28 with Ron DeLaney (49%)
—Council Group II: Paul R. Shalhoub (64%)

—Mayor: Michael O’Rourke (64%)
—Commission: Roger Michaud (45%)

—Commission Dist. 2 (3 candidates): Omari Hardy (51%)
—Commission Dist. 4 (3 candidates): Maryann Polizzi (38%); lost to Herman Robinson (52%)

—Council Group 3: Tom Deringer (50%); lost by 2 votes to Edward Paul Shropshire
—Council Group 4: Philip J. Aridas (57%)

—David DeMarois (52%) defeated Tom Goltzene

—Council Group 2: Susan Tiedemann Bickel (76%)

Commission (vote for 2 in 4 candidate race):
Don Magruder came in first (36%)
Nan Yablong came in third (19%); lost to James A. Bonfiglio (28%)

—Council Group 1: Mark T. Marciano (66%)
—Council Group 3: Matthew Jay Lane (50%)
*—Council Group 5: Rachelle Litt (37%); in run-off with Joseph R. Russo (34%)

—Council District 1: Dawn Marie Cox (55%) defeated Douglas Gunther

—Council Seat 2: Dave Swift (50%)
—Council Seat 4: Renatta Adan-Espinoza (29%); lost to Jan Rodusky (71%)

—Seat 3: Taranza McKelvin (52%) defeated Betty Barnard

Use this link to see how the Post editorial board did in the November 2016 elections.