By Steve Plunkett
One City Council race has already been decided, while a 10th candidate qualified for Boca Raton’s unusually crowded ballot.
Lawyer and real estate investor Scott Singer won Seat A (held by Susan Haynie) when candidate Craig Ehrnst switched races less than an hour before the city’s qualifying period closed Jan. 10 to run for Seat B (held by Michael Mullaugh).
Singer garnered endorsements from Whelchel and County Commissioner and former Mayor Steven Abrams. Through Dec. 31, the latest reporting period, he raised $49,526, making him the early leader. He also lent his campaign $5,000.
Because Singer wound up with no opposition, his name will not be on the March 11 ballot.
Ehrnst, the corporate treasurer of NCCI Holdings Inc., has collected $11,016 in donations and lent his campaign $10,000. He now faces incumbent council member Michael Mullaugh; Eric Gooden, a Lynn University senior; and Mohamed Abdalla, an admissions counselor at Lynn.
Mullaugh has raised $22,465 so far and lent his campaign $100; Gooden has raised $3,454 and borrowed $500 from his campaign manager; Abdalla has $3,425 in contributions and lent himself $2,100.
Meanwhile mortgage broker Yaniv Alcalay, a past president of the Rotary of Boca Raton Central, became the 10th candidate to qualify. He will face political activist Rosetta Bailey, a retired bank officer, and small-business owner Robert Weinroth, who is also a lawyer, in the race for Seat D (held by Anthony Majhess).
Weinroth has amassed $8,000 in donations and lent his campaign $16,000; Bailey has $25 in contributions and lent herself $500; newcomer Alcalay has not filed a campaign finance report.
In the big-money mayoral race to succeed Whelchel, Deputy Mayor Susan Haynie has raised $92,505 and lent $200 to her campaign, while council member Anthony Majhess has $47,563 in donations and $500 from a self-loan.
Whelchel, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits, has endorsed Haynie, who is also term-limited on her council seat. Majhess resigned his Seat D a year early, effective March 31, to run for mayor.
Singer’s uncontested election narrowed choices for Boca Raton voters. Normally the city elects two council seats one year, chooses its mayor and the two other council seats the next year, and has no election in the third year of the cycle.
Two candidates’ forum, sponsored by the Federation of Boca Raton Homeowner Associations, are scheduled for Feb. 4 at 6500 S. Congress Ave. (south of Clint Moore Road). Mayoral candidates will talk from 8:30 to 10 a.m. and council candidates will speak from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information, see www.federationofbocahoa.com."