Republican Tom Carney Announces Run For Delray Beach Mayoral Race
Tom Carney, unapologetic Republican, lawyer, family man, and long-time Delray Beach resident, has filed to run for mayor in Delray Beach. Carney is a civic-minded leader who has lived in Delray Beach since 1995. This race isn’t Carney’s first rodeo. He is a former Delray Beach commissioner and mayor and has served on numerous boards. He was a trustee at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Vice Chair of the Community Redevelopment Agency, Chair of the Delray Beach Housing Authority, served on the board of Old School Square, and is a past president of Arts Garage. Carney’s legal expertise includes land use/zoning law, which gives him a unique understanding of specific issues in the city—he knows his community well.
What makes this race interesting is that Carney is running against two other candidates who are also experienced and well-known community leaders. Both of his opponents have also served as commissioners in Delray Beach. One is current Vice Mayor Ryan Boylston, and the other is former Commissioner Shirley Johnson. Delray Beach commission elections are nonpartisan, but partisanship has played a massive part in recent local elections, and Delray Beach is no exception. Boylston and Johnson are both Democrats, but they have often been on opposite sides of local issues while serving together.
Full Disclosure: Tracy Caruso is a former Delray Beach mayoral candidate.
Florida Jolt asked Carney what he loved about Delray Beach. In his own words,
I love Delray Beach because of its charm and its vibe. It is a unique small town where you know your neighbors and people are committed to protecting its charm. It is a rare gem in Florida because it has a rich history, caring residents, and good bones. It is my home, and I want what’s best for my home. I want to do right by the people. ~Mayoral Candidate Tom Carney
One definite thing is that this race will be a slugfest. Delray Beach races have become brutal and loaded with drama. This is one election locals will be following. Delray Beach hasn’t had a Republican in office since former commissioner Bill Bathurst. Since that time, all of the commissioners have been Democrats. Delray Beach is known for being a liberal community, but things have changed in the last couple of years. Florida is more Republican, and Delray Beach seems to follow that trend.
Whether or not Delray Beach is ready to elect a Carney to mix things up on the dais remains to be seen. As this race progresses, we will learn what each candidate brings to the table, and voters must decide whose vision for the city is right for them.
Note: The original article said that Shirley Johnson is a current Delray Beach commissioner. Johnson termed out of office in March of 2023.
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