Letter: The Voter’s Betrayal

Regarding the recent District 6 Palm Beach County Commission race, I am in a state of shock regarding the actions of the western communities’ voters. Their betrayal of Michelle Santamaria is disgusting, to say the very least.

The race should have been a walk in the park for Michelle with her proven track record, name recognition and her impeccable integrity. How could she have possibly lost?

She was expected to continue the work done by her dad’s eight years on the county commission fighting for us. Over 30,000 voters supported Jess, then you add the 18,000 Republicans who voted for John Carroll previously, plus another 10,000 independent voters.

John encouraged his supporters to vote for Michelle, and if half of the three above mentioned groups voted for Michelle, that would have given her an unassailable lead of 29,000 votes. This never happened, and the big question is why? Why was Michelle betrayed?

To vote along party lines as opposed to voting for the best candidate in the race is outrageous and absolutely ridiculous.

Shame on all the voters who did not vote.

Shame on all the hypocrites who were against the winner and refused to vote for Michelle.

Shame on all those who voted for Jess in the past two elections and not for his daughter Michelle.

When Michelle announced she was running for her dad’s seat, there was an overflow crowd (standing room only) at the original Mall of Wellington.

A number of other groups announced their support for Michelle. So where are those votes?

Developers and special interest groups must be dancing in the streets. Heaven help us all if they get rewarded for their high investment.

Elections in America, and Florida in particular, have hit an all-time low when racism and gutter politics come into play. I have said before, neither Rick Scott nor Charlie Crist deserve to hold such high office as governor of our great state. Minorities gravitated toward Charlie, and that not only alienated white Democrats not to vote for Charlie, but energized white Republicans to vote for Rick.

This ugly campaign should never be repeated, and it’s time for we, the people, to stand up and say “enough is enough.” Here in our own back yard, District 6 was no different. The dirty tricks make me want to puke.

Let’s take a look back at the referendum in Scotland where supporters from both sides stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder, and not a grievous word was spoken.

I wonder if I or my grandchildren in our lifetime will ever witness such decorum in an election in the western communities.

The deceptions and deliberate false statements left a bad taste in my mouth. Kudos to Michelle Santamaraia for being so dignified and not lowering herself to that level of gutter politics.

Alma Sato, Wellington


  1. Wonder why people don’t vote? Just read this nauseating blog by the people who were the consultants and king makers of this campaign (and looser politicians). They ran McKinlay’s campaign just as negative and childish as the name calling here. This was a disgusting campaign and it looks like the future of McKinlay and her hatchet (wo)men will that they will just keep it up. Shame on YOU!

  2. Santamaria ran a CRUMMY campaign. It appeared her heart was not in it. She and the people who ran her campaign thought her name recognition was enough for a victory.

    McKinlay’s campaign was aggressive, organized and financed by a political entities outside of our own county. (Look for more of that to happen when Term Limited Wellington Council member, Matt Willhite starts campaigning for the now Term Limited STATE Representative Mark Pafford’s seat).

    People always said Matt Willhite was interested in political office far beyond his Wellington Council seat. It proved to be true! He’s already declared he’s running and opened up his campaign account for Pafford’s seat. Keep an eye on his donations from developers and donations from Groups outside our county. There was talk that when Wellington Council members spent Wellington taxpayers money for trips to Tallahassee, that Willhite would go off and do ‘his’ thing up there, rather than keep the focus on Wellington issues. It’s all about Willhite and how far he can advance himself. How much of Willhite’s time is spent at his fire job? How many hours does he put in? He’s always attending ‘meetings’ and now he’ll be hitting people up for the next 2 years for donations to his campaign. WIllhite always pushes his political pals at Wellington meetings.

    And McKinlay is all about McKinlay, Not the Western part of the county. Watch what groups that supported her get what they want when its contract$$$$ time. They are all about themselves, not the whole of District 6. That’s why donations came from outside of our county from affiliated groups.

    Anyone can move in the area and decide to run for office. Look for more of the same to happen.

    All of us in the western community have had poor representation since Massilotti. All Santamaria did was preach and use the pronoun “I”, “I”, “I”.

    Willing to see what McKinlay can do. Watch her when it comes to the SR 7 Extension. People in the Acreage are going to be screwed.

    • Not true. McKinlay is totally supportive of SR 7, much to Jeri Muoio’s chagrin.

      Melissa is going to give the western communities the representation that has been lacking for nearly a decade. She spent a lot of time with voters in the Acreage, listening to our concerns about development, infrastructure and our future. Santamaria never showed up here ONCE.

      The right candidate won.

  3. The race is over. This letter and the remarks by the above bloggers are not worthy of print. This divisiveness is why there is now a commissioner for District 6 that had no history of the area and will serve those that bought the seat for her. But let’s take our stupidity with grace now and settle for what we have because there was no rallying around at least one of the other three candidates that DID live here and DID know the area and DID represent the citizens. This is what we have. Maybe voters will smarten up next time. We can only hope.

  4. Voted against a winner? She obviously lost and badly. She even lost to nutty Andrew Schaller!

    Jess Santamaria has done nothing for the Acreage. We have endured eight solid years of his preaching, his holier-than-thou attitude and massive ego.

    This country is not a dynasty and not a kingdom where you get to bequeath your seat to your kid.

    She has NEVER been involved in District 6. Melissa McKinlay has been involved in our community for years and is ten times more qualified than Santamaria.

    Jess tried to buy her seat and three seats on the ITID board. He failed miserably.

    The Acreage will finally receive the representation it deserves and I couldn’t be more thrilled that McKinlay won.

  5. The Hope and Change BS has worn out its welcome in this country. way to go Mckinley, Scott, Bair, Jacobs, Just sad Erickson did not win, now we need to get the Big Guy out of there, and move on with life.

  6. Alma, your preaching to us is nauseating. I voted for McKinley because I liked her positions on issues and her temperament. Jess has been a disappointing disaster and Michelle was completely unqualified. Your claim that her name recognition was a qualification is laughable.

  7. Hey buddy, that’s why we live in a democracy. This isn’t North Korea where you hand down power to your children.

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