By Bryan Boggiano
The 2024 city commission election is a little over a year away, with three seats available. Seats One, Two, and Four will appear on voters’ ballots for three separate four-year terms.
Currently, Mayor Anthony Caggiano holds Seat One, but this race is competitive. Resident Nina Culver, who lost to Commissioner Joanne Simone by about six percent in 2022, is seeking to unseat Caggiano.
Both declared their candidacies earlier in 2023, and both are actively fundraising.
Caggiano has a substantial early fundraising edge, bringing in $14,250 compared to Culver’s $1,100, according to the most recent available reports, dated June 2023.
Seat Two is the second contested election. Incumbent Commissioner Arlene Schwartz is facing a challenge from Robert Reiner, owner of Ultimate Tools Corp.
Both began fundraising in Feb. 2023, and the financial race between the two is relatively tight compared to Seat One.
While Schwartz brought in $8,000, Reiner’s total through the most recent available reporting period totals $5,000.
Seat Four, held by Vice Mayor Tommy Ruzzano, remains the lone noncontested seat. Ruzzanno began collecting funds in Oct. 2021 and has raised $12,500 through June 2023.
Election winners will be entitled to a $45,000 per year salary. Despite significant backlash from Commissioner Joanne Simone, the commission approved the salary increase in September.
The city has yet to announce the qualification period for the election. Still, potential candidates should contact the city clerk’s office for more information on filing paperwork and opening a campaign account.
To run, potential candidates must have resided in Margate for 12 months, have the right to vote in the city, and have never been convicted of a felony or violated elections-related laws.
More information on how to run and campaign-related rules is available in a city packet.
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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