Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay balks at renaming US Highway 27 after Donald Trump

'I don't think it's necessary,' McKinlay says
Posted at 4:54 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:59:37-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There are calls to change the name of a major highway running through part of South Florida to honor former President Donald Trump.

U.S. Highway 27 stretches nearly 500 miles through most of Florida. Last week, State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Clermont, proposed renaming the road after Trump.

RELATED: Commissioner McKinlay won't support renaming US Highway 27 for Trump

"I think that Donald Trump is one of the best presidents in the history of the United States," Sabatini said.

The central Florida Republican posted a petition on Twitter saying he's sponsoring legislation for the name designation and plans to author an amendment to the upcoming legislative session's transportation bill.

"The very next day, I think that petition was at something like 10,000 already. I really do expect it to hit half a million or a million people by the time we start the legislative session," Sabatini said.

But the proposal hit a bump in the road in Palm Beach County. Highway 27 runs through Commissioner Melissa McKinlay's district.

"I think it's too soon to be considering naming anything after Donald Trump," McKinlay said.

McKinlay said changing Highway 27's name is ultimately up to the Legislature, and if it passes, every city in every county the highway runs through would have to pass resolutions to hang the new signage.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is opposed to renaming U.S. Highway 27, which runs through western Palm Beach County, in honor of former President Donald Trump.

"I just wouldn't support it," McKinlay said. I don't think it's necessary. I think it's the wrong part of Florida to do something like this."

Other roads in the area have been named after prior presidents.

  • George Bush Boulevard in Delray Beach
  • Florida's Turnpike also designated as Ronald Reagan Turnpike
  • President Barack Obama Highway in Riviera Beach and Boulevard in Pahokee

"Regardless of political affiliation, those three men did not have the controversy that surrounded them during their time in office," McKinlay said.

Sabatini said he's hoping to have a vote by state lawmakers on the proposal in about a month-and-a-half.

"No matter your political viewpoint, I believe every president should be honored in some significant way," Sabatini said.