Republicans from Boca Raton to South Palm Beach will head to the polls Aug. 23 to pick candidates for two Florida House seats and one Senate seat in unfamiliar districts — the result of voting maps that were redrawn this year after the 2020 Census.
Qualified to run in the new House District 91 are Highland Beach Commissioner Peggy Gossett-Seidman and Christina DuCasse, a Boca Del Mar resident whose husband is a Boca Raton firefighter/paramedic. The winner will take on Boca Raton City Council member Andy Thomson, a Democrat, on Nov. 8.
The seat opened up when Democratic incumbent Emily Slosberg-King decided not to seek re-election. To run for state office, Gossett-Seidman and Thomson had to announce their resignation from their current municipal posts effective after the November contest.
In House District 87, which now includes Manalapan, Lantana and South Palm Beach, Mike Caruso, who has represented the barrier island from Boca through South Palm Beach and beyond since 2018, will square off against Jane Justice, a real estate agent from Greenacres. The winner will be on the November ballot with Democrat Sienna Osta, a West Palm Beach lawyer. If Caruso wins, he will have to move north from Delray Beach to his new district.
There will be no primary for incumbent Democrat Joe Casello, whose redrawn District 90 now includes the barrier island from Ocean Ridge through Delray Beach that Caruso formerly represented. The Nov. 8 ballot will pair Casello with educator Keith Feit, a Boynton Beach Republican.
And in Senate District 26, which covers north Boca Raton through Ocean Ridge on the island, Bill Wheelen, a county party insider from Wellington who started the year campaigning for Congress, will face off against Steve Byers, a beekeeper from west of Delray Beach. The winner will face incumbent Lori Berman, a Delray Beach Democrat, in the fall.
— Steve Plunkett