Mayoral candidate removed from ballot after losing lawsuit

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:45 PM EST
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A Palm Beach County judge ruled Tuesday that a restaurant owner cannot run for mayor of West Palm Beach because he doesn’t live in the city.

Mayor Keith James filed the complaint in December, claiming that challenger Rodney Mayo lived in Lantana.

Circuit Court Judge Joseph Curley ruled in favor of James' campaign and declared Mayo ineligible to run for mayor.

The city charter requires that Mayo must be a legal resident of West Palm Beach six months prior to the election.

"This was about having a fair and equitable process and protecting the integrity of the elections. You can't run for mayor if you don't live here. We are grateful the Judge agreed with our evidence," James said in a statement. "I am going to transition my re-election campaign to a listening tour and go out and talk to residents over the next few months. We will continue the work that we have done for the last four years to improve West Palm Beach for all residents and businesses. I am honored and humbled to continue my service as mayor for the next four years."

Read the full ruling below:

Mayo, who owns several Clematis Street restaurants and establishments, has challenged the city on several recent moves, including increasing its parking rates downtown and proposing a change to its sidewalk dining fees.

In a statement on Facebook, Mayo said he won't be appealing the judge's decision but is starting a petition to recall James.

The mayoral election is scheduled for March 14.

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