Waterman wins Lake Worth runoff election - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Waterman wins Lake Worth runoff election

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) Political newcomer Rachel Waterman outdistanced former Mayor Tom Ramiccio Tuesday to win the special runoff election for mayor.

The victory means Waterman will fill the unexpired term of former Mayor Rene Varela, a period of about four months. She plans to run for mayor again during the regular city election on Nov. 8.

Waterman, 40, a self-employed grant writer and economic development consultant, said she reached out to all parts of the city to gain support. Her supporters drove a truck with a loudspeaker Tuesday urging residents to get out and vote for her in three languages - English, Spanish and Creole.

"Today we got a message that the people of Lake Worth want to move forward, not backward," Waterman said while holding her daughter, Liliana, during a celebration with her family and supporters outside the Havana Hideout bar. "That's what this campaign was about, people," she said. "We want to unite Lake Worth."

Ramiccio, 49, who served two terms as Lake Worth mayor and is a former president of the Greater Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce, was in Switzerland at a Kiwanis convention during Tuesday's runoff, honoring a commitment he had made a year ago, said Lisa Maxwell, a candidate in the June 28 special election who supported Ramiccio in the runoff.

Ramiccio communicated with supporters at the Casa de Mara restaurant via Skype Tuesday and said he will consider running for mayor again during the regular city election Nov. 8.

"We need to assess what happened here," Maxwell said, noting that it was unusual to have a larger turnout in a runoff than in a general election. More than 2,700 voters turned out Tuesday for the runoff, about 200 more than in the June 28 special election, when four candidates for mayor were on the ballot.

Ramiccio raised $37,225 during the special election for mayor based on treasurer's reports covering the period through July 7. Waterman raised 57 percent less at $23,663.

Waterman said she will resume campaigning for the Nov. 8 election later this month.

"I'm going to take a week off, and then I'll get organized," Waterman said. "I promised my kids I'd take them to the water park."

Waterman is scheduled to be sworn in during a ceremony set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at city hall.

City Commissioner Jo-Ann Golden applauded Waterman's victory.

"It's a great night for the commission and a great night for the city," Golden said.

Adrienne Percival supported Ramiccio in the runoff after serving as campaign manager for Maxwell on June 28. She said Tuesday she would support the winning mayor to help the city move forward.

"Come the 13th, Lake Worth needs to pitch out all the signs and come together," Percival said. "Theoretically, everyone who's been out here is passionately committed to a successful city."


Rachel Waterman 1,520 55.7%

Tom Ramiccio 1,207 44.3%

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