Shift in power on Riviera Beach city council after election

City manager firing played big role in election

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - * Julia Botel won by a landslide over 10-year incumbent Dawn Pardo in District 4
* Chairwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson won over Keith Golden in District 2
* Big win for candidates opposing the firing of City Manager Jonathan Evans 
* Voter turnout up 25 percent over 2015 election

The balance of political power on city council is shifting in Riviera Beach after Tuesday’s election. 

RELATED: Full election results | More Riviera Beach coverage

Julia Hotel won a decisively over 10-year incumbent Dawn Pardo, in the race for council seat in District 4, Singer Island. 

“We’re so excited about this win,” Botel said. 

Pardo was one of three city council members who voted to fire City Manager Jonathan Evans on Sept. 20.
She told WPTV in January her vote on Evans would not play a role at the polls.

But the numbers paint a different picture. 

“We want change,” Botel said. “The people in Riviera Beach want change and tonight we’re going to make it happen.”

Voter turnout was up 25 percent compared to the 2015 election. Several residents said this election was just as important to them as a presidential election. 

Three of the four candidates running on Tuesday’s election said the firing of Evans had a lot to due with that. 

“I certainly believe that had a lot to do with it,” Chairwoman Miller-Anderson said. “It energized people.”

Her opponent, Keith Golden, said the Evans vote was pivotal in this election.

“I think that was the one issue that galvanized the entire city,” Golden said. 

Miller-Anderson had been a vocal supporter of Evans. 

“I’m really elated that people saw that I was there for the people,” Miller-Anderson said. 

Councilwoman Pardo did not respond to our request for an interview on Tuesday. 

Contact 5 Investigator Wanda Moore spotted Pardo driving to a polling station with Alex Freeman and Brian Scheuble. Freeman wanted to become police chief, but Evans told him he was not qualified.

Schueble held a fiery speech against Evans during the meeting in which Evans was surprisingly fired, despite the fact that the city manager’s position was not on the agenda. 

Once the car pulled into the polling station, Pardo, Schuble, and Freeman waited for a few minutes in the car before leaving abruptly. 

Pardo said on her Facebook page she is thanking the people of Riviera Beach and she’s looking forward to a life in privacy again.

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