Tuesday, Aug. 14 is primary election day in Florida. In the lead up to the election, the Town-Crier is offering our opinions on some of the candidates voters will find on this month’s ballot. This week, we make endorsements in the races for Palm Beach County Clerk, Port of Palm Beach Commission Seat 1 (Democratic Primary) and State Senate District 25 (Republican Primary).
STATE SENATE DISTRICT 25, REPUBLICAN PRIMARY — Vying for this newly drawn district are Republicans Geoff Sommers and Melanie Peterson. The winner of the primary will face the Democratic nominee, State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo (D-District 85), in November. Peterson, a longtime central Palm Beach County resident, has deep roots in the local equestrian community. She has a strong background in issues that matter to the western communities. Having sat on the Equine Advisory Board for the Florida Farm Bureau for eight years and serving six years as an elected supervisor of the Palm Beach Soil & Water Conservation District, she has experience advocating for equestrian interests and as an elected official. Sommers, on the other hand, is a lawyer from Boca Raton who has never held political office. And though Peterson is a fairly conservative Republican, she is known for being able to negotiate with disparate interests and bring people together. In a district that’s drawn to favor a Democrat, that’s a crucial quality for the Republican nominee, should the party want to win the seat in November. If Republicans are looking for someone more likely to make a Democratic-leaning seat go Republican, Peterson is the better nominee. But more important for the western communities, Peterson actually knows about this area and is running to represent voters in this area. Sommers passed on an opportunity to meet with the Town-Crier’s editorial board, and we’re not aware of him doing any campaigning in the area. If he’s running a race, it’s not in these parts. The Town-Crier strongly endorses Melanie Peterson in the State Senate District 25 Republican Primary.