FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale mayor Jack Seiler crushed two challengers, keeping his post as mayor by winning 75% of the vote in Tuesday’s Fort Lauderdale Mayoral election.
A strategy by challenger Earl Rynerson to force Seiler into a primary race and eventual runoff by getting a third candidate to enter the race failed, as Rynerson took just 20% of the vote. Gabriel Crimi, a supporter of Rynerson’s in past elections, won just 724 votes or 5%.
Seiler’s commanding margin means no primary election will be needed to keep his job, as a margin of 50% plus 1 vote was sufficient for re-election. He will serve another 3 years.
Seiler celebrated his landslide victory with his supporters at the Parrot Lounge on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Seiler called the victory a referendum on his and the commission’s goals for the city. Seiler pointed to boosting tourism, holding the line on taxes and cutting spending as successes during his first term.
“We’ve put the focus on the future of Fort Lauderdale,” Seiler said. “We’ve got a vision for the future of Fort Lauderdale. We want to make this the best place to live, work, play, raise a family and visit.”
Seiler easily defeated Rynerson, who also ran for mayor in the last election and lost. But Rynerson’s supporters said they want the city to be better stewards of the taxpayer’s money.
“I hope to see more fiscal conservativism,” said Bill Ashcraft. “When times were good, it seemed like we redid the medians on every street every year. We just spent money like drunken sailors.”
Seiler said the facts show that the commission has been fiscally conservative. He said the commission has cut $18 million dollars out of the city’s budget while paring back the workforce. Seiler also said city leaders have improved the quality of life — like adding new 8 parks.
Seiler said one of his goals is to revitalize the Riverwalk are downtown and make it a thriving spot again.
“It’s gotta be well lit, well maintained, well patrolled,” he said. “Then we can activate it even more and we’ll have a destination that people will talk about.”
Seiler also said the city has seen 25 consecutive months of tourism growth and more of a year of declining unemployment. He said the unemployment rate has dropped from 10.1% to 8.6% in the past 13 months.
In other municipal races on the primary ballot, the District 2 Charlotte Rodstrom kept her district 2 commission seat with 79% of the vote.
In Lighthouse Point, Earl Mauker eased past Tom Hasis for the Commission 1 seat, 53% to 45%. In Seat 3, 56% of the voters supported Rebecca Lysengen over incumbent Susie Gordon.
In Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and Parkland, one commission seat was up for grabs in each community. Lauderdale-By-The-Sea voters gave the nod to Mark Brown with 58% of the vote, besting Edmund Fred Malkoon.
Parkland voters gave John A. Willis 55% the race for commission seat 1.
The Pembroke Pines Commission had two seats open in Tuesday’s election. District 2’s seat went to Jay Schwartz with 56% of the vote while District 3 voters will be represented by Iris A. Siple, who had a commanding 61% in her race.
In addition to the local commission and mayoral races, voters in Hillsboro Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes and Wilton Manors approved the county’s new Code of Ethics.
Voters in Wilton Manors will also approved a referendum on voluntary service and a police referendum.