It’s election season in Royal Palm Beach and Loxahatchee Groves, and both communities will see hotly contested elections.
Filing closed Tuesday, Feb. 3 in Loxahatchee Groves, and two candidates have emerged to challenge two incumbents. Roadway, Equestrian Trails & Greenway Advisory Committee Chair Keith Harris is challenging Seat 3 incumbent Councilman Ryan Liang, while Finance Advisory & Audit Committee Chair Virginia Standish has filed for Seat 1, held by incumbent Vice Mayor Ron Jarriel. Over in Royal Palm Beach, there are a few more days left before filing closes on Tuesday, Feb. 10, but so far, one of two available seats is contested. Former Councilwoman Martha Webster plans to challenge Seat 2 incumbent Vice Mayor David Swift, seeking a return to the dais in the same seat Webster lost to Swift two years ago. Seat 4 incumbent Councilman Fred Pinto is thus far unchallenged.
Both of these elections, set for Tuesday, March 10, will bring clashes of personalities and policy, but determining style from substance is always the challenge. The races are officially on, and it’s important that voters sit up and take notice of what each candidate has to say.
Despite the traditionally low voter turnout in local elections, the matters debated by local municipalities tend to affect voters most directly. Leading up to the election, there will be plenty of information about each candidate and their views released in the media, including here on the pages of the Town-Crier. By keeping up on the issues, voters will be able to evaluate who they feel will best represent them as decisions are made to spend tax dollars and make community policy.
One of the best ways for voters to evaluate candidates is during the forums that typically occur before the vote. Forums are important opportunities for residents to ask questions and see candidates think on their feet while answering and responding to opponents.
Royal Palm Beach residents will have an opportunity to watch village candidates in action on Tuesday, Feb. 17 when the Town-Crier hosts a candidates forum at the Royal Palm Beach Village Meeting Hall beginning at 7 p.m. The forum will be televised on RPB’s Channel 18, but residents are welcome to attend and submit questions for the candidates. In Loxahatchee Groves, the Loxahatchee Groves Landowners’ Association will host a forum on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at Palms West Presbyterian Church.
No matter where you get your election news, make a point to be informed on the candidates and the issues. Then be sure to vote. In local elections, one vote can truly make a difference.