By Mary Hladky
Incumbents Monica Mayotte and Yvette Drucker easily defeated challengers Tuesday to win three-year terms on the Boca Raton City Council.
With all 38 precincts reporting, Mayotte bested Brian Stenberg in the race for Seat D by winning 58.4 percent of the vote. Drucker took 50.6 percent of the vote to surpass three opponents in the Seat C race.
City Council members in October appointed Drucker to temporarily replace term-limited Jeremy Rodgers after he was deployed on an overseas military assignment.
Both Mayotte and Drucker won endorsements from Mayor Scott Singer and Deputy Mayor Andrea O’Rourke.
“I am just very proud that the Boca Raton voters have put their trust in me for another term and proud to represent them for another three years,” Mayotte said.
During the campaign, voters spoke to her about issues that they want her to address. “I look forward to bringing all these ideas forward,” she said.
“This campaign proved that truth matters and Boca Raton looks forward, not backward,” Drucker said, referring to the negative campaigning against her by her chief competitor, former City Council member and Deputy Mayor Constance Scott, who won 33.8 percent of the vote.
“I am looking forward to the next three years,” she said.
Mayotte, a former sustainability specialist with JM Family Enterprises and a strong advocate of environmental protections, campaigned on helping the city’s businesses recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring public safety, and pursuing responsible and innovative development.
Stenberg, vice president of the Boca Raton medical office real estate management firm The Greenfield Group, stressed helping businesses recover, the importance of finding a strong replacement for City Manager Leif Ahnell who plans to retire in 2024, and finding ways to make up for the pandemic-induced decrease in commercial property values.
Drucker, a first-generation Cuban American who is the first Hispanic to serve on the City Council, prioritized helping businesses recover, and common sense but smart development.
A former human resource manager for ADP, Drucker is a longtime volunteer with many organizations, including the Boca Raton Historical Society and Junior League of Boca Raton.
Scott, who is now director of local relations at Florida Atlantic University, prioritized public safety, helping businesses recover and protecting the city from overdevelopment.
The two other candidates for Seat C were Josie Machovec, a stay-at-home mom who is best known for being one of four plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit to overturn Palm Beach County’s mask mandate. The litigation is ongoing in court. She won 10.6 percent of the vote.
Bernard Korn, a real estate broker, has twice lost elections to Singer and says he is now also running to defeat U.S. Sen. Rick Scott. He did not participate in candidate forums and received no campaign contributions. He garnered 4.9 percent of the vote.
In the final weeks of the races, Stenberg and Scott pivoted to negative campaigning.
Stenberg accused Mayotte of having the “wrong priorities,” “offending residents” and “costing taxpayer money.” Mayotte did not return fire, saying residents wanted to know candidates’ stands on the issues.
Scott claimed Drucker was unfairly chosen to replace Rodgers in a “political power grab” and is “bankrolled by special interests.”
In response, Drucker said Scott lied about her record and accused her of having ties to special interests and to former Mayor Susan Haynie, who is now awaiting trial on public corruption charges.
Voters also approved two proposed city charter amendments.
One lengthens the time a person must have lived in the city from 30 days to one year before they can qualify to run. It also disqualifies candidates from running who have a homestead exemption on property outside the city limits.
The second amendment eliminates the requirement that candidates pay a $25 qualifying fee. It instead requires candidates to submit a petition with the signatures of at least 200 city voters.