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Riviera Beach mayor faces challenge from political newcomer, former city councilwoman

Incumbent Ronnie Felder running for re-election against Billie Brooks, Shandra Stringer
Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 17:38:46-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The mayor of Riviera Beach is running for re-election against a political newcomer and a former city councilwoman.

Shandra Stringer is a longtime resident of Riviera Beach, a successful entrepreneur and an advocate for minority and small business owners.

"The things that I do on a day-to-day basis, I want to do them on a greater platform," she told WPTV.

Shandra Stringer, running for mayor of Riviera Beach in 2022
Shandra Stringer is a political newcomer who is running for mayor of Riviera Beach.

In her first political run, Stringer said she's looking forward to bringing her knowledge and expertise to City Hall while focusing on families, education, economic development and the environment.

"Looking at what programs are already in place and how I can bring my experience and the housing and financial coaching industry to the community and galvanize non-traditional and traditional resources that families are helped," she said.

One of her opponents, Billie Brooks, is no stranger to public service, having served as a former councilwoman and chair of the Community Redevelopment Association. Her late husband, Bobby Brooks, was the city's first Black mayor who served more than a decade.

Billie Brooks, candidate for Riviera Beach mayor in 2022
Billie Brooks, a former city councilwoman whose husband was the first Black mayor of Riviera Beach, is seeking the position her husband once held for more than a decade.

"I want Riviera Beach to be a destination city," she said.

Her priorities include redevelopment and families first.

"Focusing on, with my background in politics, you know, certainly the political atmosphere and how we're going to move forward, but then there is the humanitarian side of Billie Brooks, so I've got to be concerned about my families, the children."

Incumbent Ronnie Felder, a pastor and CEO of Jay Outreach Ministries, said he promises to tackle the housing crisis and economic development, adding that he's committed to "servicing our people, and I will continue to do an even better job than we did the first three years."

Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder, running for re-election, vows to 'do an even better job than we did the first three years'
Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder, who is running for re-election, vows to "do an even better job than we did the first three years."

Felder also wants to focus on public safety and has plans to launch a citizen's review board to improve relationships between residents and police.

"We will have local citizens to be on this board to work closely with our police department, so when there's issues that we're facing in our city, these citizens will make recommendations," he said.