Friday, March 15, 2019

Breaking news today from editor at Lake Worth Herald.

Despite Mr. Tom Copeland conceding the election to District 4 City Commissioner Herman Robinson — per the rules laid out in the City Charter — the run-off election on March 26th must be held as reported in the Herald.

But as yet no public notice of a run-off election is publicly noticed on the City’s official calendar.

FYI: Editor at the Herald made no endorsement
in District 4 race this year.

The election results from last Tuesday:

But the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post (owned by Gatehouse Media) pitched real hard the endorsement for Copeland citing he is “a high-octane campaigner who pitches an array of proposals.”

However, not certain it’s applicable in this case, but former District 4 Commissioner Ryan Maier was able to remove himself from the ballot in early January 2017 (see details below) after qualifying for the election in March of that year leading the way for the election of Mr. Herman Robinson.

Here is the news in the Herald datelined today, March 15th and headlined, “Ain’t Over Til It’s Over”:

The election held on March 12 produced no clear winner in race for the District Four Commissioner. A majority of 50% plus one vote is required. The two top vote getters in the four way race were incumbent Herman Robinson with 48.81% and Tom Copeland with 27.73%. Although Copeland has “conceded” the race to Robinson, the run-off is still mandated and preparations for the election are underway according to the Lake Worth City Clerk’s office. [emphasis added] According to the Deputy Supervisor of the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections office, Robin Rorapaugh told the Herald that the decision lies with the City Clerk who is bound by the City Charter which states in Article 5, Section 4,

“Whenever a general or a special election is held to fill any elective office in the city, the candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast at such election to fill such office shall be declared to be duly elected; provided that in the event no candidate for a particular elective office shall receive a majority of the votes cast at such election to fill such office, then a run-off election shall be held two (2) weeks after the original election to elect a candidate to fill such office.” 

Therefore, because Commissioner Robinson did not reach the magic number of “50%  +  1” he will have to face Mr. Copeland in a run-off election on March 26th. Possibly a high-level meeting between Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Wendy Sartory Link and Chief Elections Deputy Robin Rorapaugh can explore this matter more fully in the coming days.

As per today on the SOE website there are run-off elections scheduled for March 26th in Lake Worth Beach, Riviera Beach and West Palm Beach which does not have a beach.

And looking back at the situation in 2017 with former Commissioner Maier in typical fashion it took nearly a month for this to become news in The Palm Beach Post but it was breaking news in the very next edition of The Lake Worth Herald:

Here is the letter submitted to the Lake Worth
City Clerk in December 2016.

Click on image to enlarge:

Whether a letter such as this from Mr. Copeland could have avoided a run-off election on March 26th is unclear. This can be explained in more detail by City Attorney Glen Torcivia at the City Commission meeting on Tuesday, March 19th.