GOP-Backed Candidate Flips Mayor Seat in District Biden Dominated

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GOP-Backed Candidate Flips Mayor Seat in District Biden Dominated

A candidate backed by Florida’s Republican Party won the mayoral race on Tuesday in a district that Democratic President Joe Biden won by nearly 30 points in 2020.

Tom Carney, 70, was elected as mayor of Delray Beach, Florida, after defeating challengers Ryan Boylston and Shirley Johnson, according to election results reported by local station WPBF.

Carney received roughly 51 percent of the vote, while Boylston had about 38 percent and Johnson picked up around 10 percent, according to results as of 10 p.m. Eastern time.

The Florida GOP celebrated Carney’s win in a post on X, formerly Twitter, writing: “Republican Tom Carney has been elected Mayor of Delray Beach! That’s ANOTHER flip for the @FloridaGOP tonight. Congrats Mayor-elect Carney! #KeepFloridaWinning.”

Newsweek reached out via email on Tuesday night to Biden’s representatives, Carney and the Florida GOP for comment.

The Context

The Florida Democratic Party decided to cancel its primary and award all 224 of its delegates to Biden, who already crossed the threshold to clinch the nomination for president and was not facing an opponent in the state.

The Sunshine State’s Republican Party celebrated a slew of flips as the results rolled in on Tuesday night.

What We Know

Carney, an attorney and former mayor, will take over as mayor for Shelly Petrolia, who served in the role since 2018, according to the Sun Sentinel.

The mayor-elect defeated Boylston, who serves as the city’s vice mayor, and Johnson, a former commissioner, according to the Sentinel, which cites results from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Carney served as Delray Beach commissioner from 2011 to 2013 before a brief stint as acting mayor in 2013. He unsuccessfully ran for a full term as mayor that same year.

His victory on Tuesday was among a handful highlighted by the Republican Party of Florida as a “flip” for the GOP.

Delray Beach Mayoral Race
An aerial view of Delray Beach, Florida, is shown. Tom Carney, who was backed by the Florida GOP, on Tuesday was elected as city mayor.

Getty

Views

“I am so grateful and so humbled,” Carney said after winning the mayoral race, according to the Sentinel. “I keep my promises. This has been very exciting.”

Florida GOP Chairman Evan Power released a statement Tuesday night, celebrating “sweeping local victories across the state.”

Power’s key points included: A “clean sweep” in Clearwater in Pinellas County, a “clean Sweep” in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea in Broward County and “flipping the mayor of Delray Beach red” in Palm Beach County.

“I’d like to congratulate all of our Republican candidates on their victories this evening,” Power said. “From Delray Beach to Clearwater and from Winter Garden to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the Florida GOP remains committed to electing Republicans up and down the ballot—in every corner of the state.”

What’s Next?

Carney will start his mayoral term on March 28, according to the Delray Beach code of ordinances.

Update 03/19/24, 11:25 p.m. ET: This article was updated to include additional information.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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