By Mary Hladky

 12390437883?profile=RESIZE_400xAndy Thomson easily reclaimed a Boca Raton City Council seat on election night, capturing 62.3% of the vote to defeat opponent Brian Stenberg.

Thomson, senior counsel at the Baritz & Colman law firm in Boca Raton and an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University teaching local and state government, resigned from the council in 2022 to pursue his unsuccessful candidacy for the Florida House District 91 seat now held by Peggy Gossett-Seidman.

After losing that race, Thomson said he would seek elected office again and ultimately decided on a run for the Boca Council Seat D to replace term-limited Deputy Mayor Monica Mayotte.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be entrusted with this,” Thomson said at his campaign party at Maggiano’s restaurant. “I have served on the City Council before, but I take the duties very seriously and I am honored that the city would have me back in that way.”

12402596267?profile=RESIZE_400xAlso victorious in the March 19 election was incumbent Yvette Drucker, who claimed Seat C by winning 77% of the vote and trouncing perennial candidate Bernard Korn.

Thomson received far more campaign donations than any of the other candidates, bringing in $133,604. He blanketed the city with campaign signs and drew the longest list of endorsements of any of the candidates.

Stenberg, a partner in the Greenfield Properties medical office real estate management firm, was making his second bid to serve on the council after Mayotte defeated him in 2021.

Stenberg congratulated Thomson at his own party at Duffy’s restaurant. “I wish him the best. I wish the best to the city of Boca Raton,” he said.

He did not rule out another race for a council seat. “The citizens who voted for me, it was a very passionate vote for them. I want to honor the value of their votes.”

12402598470?profile=RESIZE_710xStenberg said he did not seek endorsements and raised $16,709, with about a quarter of that coming from personal loans to his campaign. He relied on reaching out to voters directly and through volunteers.

Stenberg drew support in mid-March from the BocaFirst blog, which, without mentioning him by name, called him the “resident advocate candidate” in the mold of former Deputy Mayor Andrea O’Rourke who stressed being “resident friendly” and opposed to overdevelopment.

City development has long been an issue in campaigns as the number of residents has reached nearly 100,000 and construction projects have sprouted citywide.

In their campaigns, both Thomson and Stenberg offered nuanced views on development, with Thomson saying growth should be managed responsibly, and Stenberg calling for “respectful growth” that avoids overdevelopment.

12402598864?profile=RESIZE_710xDrucker, who raised $61,463 in campaign donations, is a first-generation Cuban American and the first Hispanic to serve on the council. She is a longtime volunteer with many organizations, including the Junior League of Boca Raton.

Drucker has made improving transportation and mobility her passion and promised to continue that work during her second term. She stressed “common sense” development.

Korn, a real estate broker, self-financed his campaign with $5,550. He has twice lost elections to Mayor Scott Singer and once to Drucker.

In the most recent campaign, Korn said his top priority was to end “uncontrolled development.” He also railed against what he said was political corruption in the city and among council members without offering factual evidence.

Korn repeatedly asked residents to file complaints with the state against Drucker, contending she had violated ethics rules even though there was no basis for that
allegation.

“It was a wonderful result for this campaign,” Drucker said of her victory, “but also to win by such a margin after the attacks by my opponent. The best is yet to come.”

When Mayotte, who lives in the eastern part of the city near downtown, leaves the council at the end of this month, all five council members will live west of Interstate 95.

 

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