If you are like most Americans this year, you were counting down the days to November 9th. The days following the election are a time to reflect on the path the nation’s voters have decided to take at the federal, state and local governments levels. Prior to every election, the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches conducts candidate screening to decide which candidate will be the best representative of Realtor® issues if elected to office. For a general overview of the 2016 election, watch our election results video.
Starting this past March our candidate screening process began. Realtors® screened 80 candidates over 11 screening sessions. When it was all said and done, RAPB members spent a total of 49½ hours screening political veterans and newcomers on Realtor® issues such as property taxes, increasing homeownership, private property rights and numerous local municipality issues. As the TV pundits began to predict the outcomes of the races on Election Day, we at RAPB started to rack up wins left and right. All in all, the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches endorsed 32 winning candidates and boasted an 80% winning percentage.
Starting at the State level, long-time Realtor® Party Champion Bobby Powell secured his seat in Tallahassee to represent District 30 in the Florida Senate along with Senator Jeff Clemens in neighboring District 31. Realtors® supported a clean sweep in the House with all incumbent members returning to Tallahassee next year. We also want to congratulate the newly elected members to the Florida House of Representatives; we look forward to meeting with you during Great American Realtor® Days!
At the local level, Realtors® could not have been more thrilled to see Dorothy Jacks win the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser race by an almost unheard of 40% margin of victory. We are also extremely pleased to say that we had two RAPB Realtor® members elected to local office. Stephanie Morgan won a crowded race for Port St. Lucie City Council and Katherine Waldron unseated a 5-term incumbent to win a seat on the Port of Palm Beach Commission. Of note, the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches endorsed all 4 winning candidates for the Palm Beach County Commission along with all three winning candidates for Port St. Lucie City Council.
We have to highlight a victory that ultimately benefits the property owners of St. Lucie County. With help from the Florida Realtors® Issues Mobilization Committee, RAPB was able to organize a campaign to defeat a ballot initiative that would have imposed a property assessment on all types of real property. After residents of St. Lucie County suffered a 10% increase in property taxes and property owners of Port St. Lucie being dealt an additional 18% property tax increase last year, Realtors® stood up for the community, fought back, and won.
The Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches would like to thank all of the Realtor® screening panels, the RPAC and Government Affairs Committees, the RAPB Board of Directors and the newly elected officials for helping to make Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties the premier locations to purchase a home.