Bobby Powell to resign state Senate seat in November, seeks special election

Powell running for Palm Beach County Commission seat held by Mack Bernard
State Senator Bobby Powell 03112024
Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 18:13:50-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — State Sen. Bobby Powell, a Democrat in West Palm Beach, has submitted his resignation to Gov. Ron DeSantis with an effective date of Nov. 4 as he has opened a campaign account to run for Palm Beach County Commission District 7 this fall.

Once DeSantis accepts the resignation, it is anticipated that the governor will consult with the secretary of state to set a special election date.

"If the past is any indication, it is likely that the election will be set during the statewide August primary and November general election as has been done previously," according to a news release by Powell on Monday.

His term runs until 2026.

"Serving as senator has been a tremendous honor and a significant part of my life for nearly eight years," Powell said. "It is my intent to prevent any gaps in coverage or representation in this district, while pursuing the County Commission and filing my resignation now allows the governor time to set a special election to coincide with the upcoming primary and general elections."

In June, Powell announced his candidacy.

Powell is running for the county seat held by Mack Bernard, elected in 2016 and term-limited. Bernard, also a Democrat from West Palm Beach, is running for Powell's seat in 2026.

The county district serves central Palm Beach County, including all or parts of Briny Breezes, Delray Beach, Gulf Stream, Hypoluxo, Lantana, Mangonia Park, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Shores, Riviera Beach, South Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.

Powell was elected to a third term for the state Senate in November 2022, defeating Republican Eric Anker with 55.7% of the vote.

Powell's campaign account shows over $170,000 raised for his county commission run.

“I believe that a life of service is a life that counts, and I am committed to continue serving the constituents of District 24 through Nov. 4 while tirelessly advocating for policies that enhance the quality of life for residents in Palm Beach County while pursuing the County Commission seat,” said Powell, who has set up a campaign website.