Delray Beach elects new mayor, 2 new commissioners

Tom Carney becomes city's first new mayor since 2018; Juli Casale returns to City Hall after 2023 loss; political newcomer Tom Markert joins fray
Signs for Juli Casale, Tom Markert and Tom Carney in Sabal Lakes neighborhood of Delray Beach, March 19, 2024
Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-19 22:54:35-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — There is new leadership coming in Delray Beach.

A one-time mayor, a former commissioner and a political newcomer will soon become regulars at City Hall.

Tom Carney defeated current Vice Mayor Ryan Boylston and former city Commissioner Shirley Johnson in Tuesday's mayoral election, according to unofficial results from the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

With all precincts reporting, Carney beat Boylston by nearly 1,300 votes. Johnson finished third with 1,058 votes.

Carney, 70, replaces outgoing Mayor Shelley Petrolia, who has served in that role since 2018.

"I can't tell you how humbled I am and how grateful I am," Carney told WPTV.

Boylston declined to comment on the election, while Johnson wished Carney the best.

Signs for Juli Casale, Tom Markert and Tom Carney in Sabal Lakes neighborhood of Delray Beach, March 19, 2024
Signs supporting Juli Casale, Tom Markert and Tom Carney are displayed side-by-side in the Sabal Lakes neighborhood, March 19, 2024, in Delray Beach, Fla.

Former Commissioner Juli Casale, who narrowly lost her seat to Rob Long in last year's municipal election, defeated opponents Anneze Barthelemy and Nick Coppola.

Political newcomer Tom Markert edged out Jim Chard and Tennille DeCoste to replace current Commissioner Adam Frankel, who is running for Palm Beach County public defender.

Voters also overwhelmingly rejected a charter amendment asking whether to eliminate Delray Beach's Board of Adjustment, which considers and decides on appeals and variances to the city's land development regulations.

Carney was previously a city commissioner from 2011-13 and briefly served as acting mayor in 2013. That was the same year he ran for mayor but lost to Carey Glickstein, who endorsed Boylston.

Ryan Boylston has no comment after losing mayoral election in Delray Beach, March 19, 2024
Ryan Boylston had nothing to say after losing to Tom Carney in the city's mayoral election, March 19, 2024, in Delray Beach, Fla.

Development was a sticking point throughout this campaign cycle.

"If you want to preserve the 'Village by the Sea,' which I do and which we are, you really need to get citizen engagement," Carney said.

Susan Rutherford moved to Delray Beach from Virginia in 2020. She was concerned about overdevelopment and was looking for a leader who could keep Delray Beach accessible.

Susan Rutherford tells Janny Rodriguez she's concerned about overdevelopment, March 19, 2024
Susan Rutherford tells WPTV's Janny Rodriguez that she's concerned about overdevelopment in Delray Beach, where she's lived since 2020.

"I walk everywhere. I want to be able to see my neighbors, know my neighbors," she said. "I want to be able to feel like I'm in a community versus cement buildings everywhere."

Carney said overdevelopment is threatening the city's charm and tranquility.

"We have so many developments being approved without them being out of the ground that we have no idea what the effect is going to be on the infrastructure, and that's really going to be important because we have an aging infrastructure and we have taxpayers that deserve – you know, residents that deserve – better," Carney said.

Carney said he's ready to get to work.

"I think there's a lot of work to be done and I'm ready to start the day I'm sworn in," he said.

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