By Steve Plunkett
Experience beat youth in the primary contests for District 89, with Mike Caruso and Jim Bonfiglio a big step closer to taking a seat in the Florida Legislature.
Caruso, 59, a barrier island resident and Delray Beach accountant, beat Matt Spritz, 35, a Boca Raton lawyer, to become the Republican standard-bearer. Caruso had 6,691 votes for a margin of 56 percent to 44 percent.
Bonfiglio, 64, a lawyer and Ocean Ridge’s mayor, overcame Ryan Rossi, 33, a former high school teacher, to claim the Democratic nomination. Bonfiglio secured 7,025 votes, a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent.
In the November general election Bonfiglio and Caruso will also face Delray Beach business owner Deborah Wesson Gibson, who is not affiliated with a party.
District 89, which leans Republican, stretches along the coast from Boca Raton north to Singer Island.
Bonfiglio, who campaigned on a promise to make life “easier, safer and better,” has been on the Ocean Ridge Town Commission since 2014 after 14 years on the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He resigned effective Nov. 6, Election Day, to run for the legislature.
Caruso, who qualified to run for the state House by collecting 1,241 petition signatures, says he will bring “real, experienced, community-based leadership” to Tallahassee. He has been a member of the Delray Beach Police Advisory Board and the West Atlantic Redevelopment Coalition Board and also president of the Villas of Ocean Crest homeowners association and Atlantic Grove condominium association.
State Rep. Bill Hager, who won the District 89 seat in 2012, could not run again because of term limits.