By C. Ron Allen
Delray Beach Tribune
DELRAY BEACH – (March 13) Vice Mayor Angeleta Gray strolled to victory Tuesday, winning a second full term by crushing challenger Victor Kirson to retain her seat on the City Commission.
Political newcomer Al Jacquet secured his seat on the commission by handily defeating three other candidates.
The election of Jacquet, a Haitian American, and Gray a black woman, is a historical moment for the City of Delray Beach. It is the first time in the city’s 100 years that two people of color will serve together on the city commission.
“This is a historic moment for Delray Beach,” Jacquet, 32, told his supporters at Deluxe restaurant after the results were announced. “This is a momentous occasion. Delray Beach has spoken. [The voters are] tired of the old politics, they’re ready for new energetic leadership and they’ve elected me to serve. I am honored, I am humbled and I am ready to work for the community. You may not have voted for me but I will be a commissioner for all. It doesn’t matter, I will treat everyone the same.”
Jacquet, an attorney and legislative aide for Rep. Mack Bernard, D-West Palm Beach, earned 48 percent of the votes over former City Commissioner Pat Archer, who received 1,156 or 29.1 percent; Christina Morrison, a real estate agent and chairwoman of the Financial Review Board who finished with 723 or 18.2 percent; and David Armstrong, a community activist who prior to running for office advocated for a clothing optional beach, who bagged 135 or 3.4 percent.
Voters also struck down a ballot question that would have extended term limits from three, 2-year terms to three, 3-year terms. City officials said the move would save the city money by only having an election every three years instead of every two.
Gray’s win indicated that residents did not want to tinker with the commission that many say has work well together for the past year.
“If it’s not broken, why mess with it,” resident Ben Hutley said. “So what? She probably could improve in some areas but they [the city commission] worked well and there was none of those fights like you see in some of these other cities around here.”
Gray, who garnered 2,261 or 62 percent of the votes, credited her victory on a team of dedicated volunteers and an electorate who believe in her
“We ran a wonderful race,” said Gray who was appointed to the City Commission in 2009 to replace Bernard, the state representative. She was re-elected unopposed in March 2010.
Gray was appointed to the City Commission in 2009 to replace Bernard, the state representative. She was re-elected unopposed in March 2010.