Hold the Mayo, West Palm Beach Mayoral Candidate Disqualified
Rodney Mayo didn’t want to run for mayor of West Palm Beach. He felt obligated to do so because of current Mayor Keith James’ “complete disregard for the citizen’s voice.” Still, according to a judge, Mayo didn’t meet an essential requirement to run for office: you must be a city resident for at least six months.
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Mayo has written all about what happened on his Facebook page. He feels that by making this decision, the voters are being deprived of an election, and it’s against the democratic process. The mayor isn’t the only one unopposed. Two commissioners, Shalonda Warren and Joseph Peduzzi are also running unopposed. Voters will not get a chance to vote for who will represent them.
Mayo owns ten businesses and several properties in West Palm Beach and feels that this makes him qualified to run. The problem is that he doesn’t live there. He lives in Lantana. Mayor James called him out on this, and the judge agreed.
Mayo disagrees with the judge’s decision and draws an interesting conclusion about the West Palm Beach elections. In a nutshell, he says that Cornerstone Solutions, owned by political consultant Rick Asnani, works with every commissioner currently in office in West Palm Beach and that Cornerstone, as well as developers, have bought and paid for these elections. Money drives these elections; others have been scared off from running because they can’t compete in this respect.
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His conclusion is not entirely accurate. Money can drive elections, but it’s not the only factor. I’m not sure where Mayo was during the midterm elections when Cornerstone lost three seemingly effortless elections in Palm Beach County, despite having millions of dollars with which to play. Cornerstone’s candidates had substantial financial support. Two out of the three candidates that beat them had practically nothing.
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Money is helpful, and backing from certain people is a big deal, but other factors, such as the right campaign messaging, are also important. Money and backing from developers aren’t everything.
Rodney Mayo seems to have done a lot for the community. Now that Mayo knows what needs to be done, he can take a shot at the next local seat that comes up. In the meantime, don’t hate the player; hate the game. Mayor Keith James lives another day.
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