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Shannon Martin cruises to victory in Port St. Lucie mayoral election

'I've had such community support,' mayor-elect says
Shannon Martin, mayor-elect for Port St. Lucie after September special election
Posted at 10:00 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 08:35:58-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Florida's seventh-largest city is now under new leadership.

Shannon Martin, the city's District 3 councilwoman for more than a decade, garnered about 65% of votes in Tuesday's special election.

"I've had such community support, widespread support from all different facets of the community," Martin said.

She said moving forward in her new role, she'll continue to be all ears to the community.

"It's also about being responsive as soon as possible," she said. "You know, waiting a day to talk to people, you want to talk to people right away and listen to them and show them that you're responsive."

Her opponent, Edgar "EJ" Bernier, a St. Lucie County fireman and U.S. veteran, received 35% of the more than 19,000 votes cast.

"I always like to be part of something bigger than myself," Bernier said.

Edgar "EJ" Bernier, lost special election to become mayor of Port St. Lucie
Edgar "EJ" Bernier lost a special election to become the next mayor of Port St. Lucie.

Bernier said he decided to run because he's worried about the city losing its charm.

"They're worried about the growth," he said. "They don't think the growth is sustainable. It's not being managed well."

Both candidates mentioned the ongoing problems with solid waste around the city as an immediate need, along with the city's strategic plan.

"Definitely focusing on our infrastructure," Martin said. "That's a long-term thing that we're going to keep addressing and also the mobility in this city. That's one of the things our citizens have concerns about is getting around the city."

Martin will serve the remainder of former Mayor Gregory Orevec's term, which ends in November 2022.