Two Palm Beach Gardens City Council members were reelected Tuesday without a fight when no one qualified to run against them.
The only previously announced opponent, Eric Bruns, qualified by petition to run against incumbent Carl Woods but withdrew his candidacy, City Clerk Patty Snider said Tuesday after the two-week filing deadline had passed.
Incumbent Marcie Tinsley, a vice president of a land management and construction company, had been elected with 70 percent of the vote in March to fill the final year of County Commissioner Maria Marino’s term. No one filed even preliminary paperwork to challenge her for a new three-year term.
“I just had an election and it seemed like yesterday,” Tinsley said. “I am very grateful to serve the people for another three years.”
Woods, a former Gardens police officer elected in 2016 and reelected in 2019, said he looked forward to continuing the city’s vision.
“Palm Beach Gardens is going good,” he said. “Hopefully, the community is happy.”
Bruns, a money manager who had raised $1,250 to run, posted on his campaign Facebook page that he withdrew because of a personal medical issue.
“While nothing too serious, it requires time and attention to address,” he wrote. “That, combined with my responsibilities to my family, my business, and the Army Reserve, has reduced the amount of time I can devote to the campaign to unacceptable levels.”
He wished his almost-opponent well.
“While Councilmember Woods and I may have certain policy differences, I believe he has the city’s best interest at heart,” he wrote. “I wish nothing but success for Councilmember Woods and look forward to working with him in the future.”
The cancellation of the election frees Tinsley and Woods from raising money and campaigning over the next four months. It also saves the city an estimated $140,000, Woods said, since it won’t have to hold the election in March.
Woods had raised $35,300 and Tinsley $9,400 in campaign contributions through October, publicly available reports showed.
Gardens councilmembers are limited to two three-year terms. Woods has served two terms but his first term in 2016 fell about four months short of a full term after a court challenge knocked out his opponent, David Levy. A July city attorney opinion concluded he was eligible to run again.
After several council members held their seats for decades, city residents voted in 2014 and again in 2018 in favor of term limits.
Tinsley sat out four years after serving two full terms on the council. Since her current term is just one year, she is eligible to run for a second full term in 2025 before she would be forced out by term limits.
In 2023, the other three council seats will be up, with Mayor Rachelle Litt and Councilmember Mark Marciano forced out by term limits and Vice Mayor Chelsea Reed in line for a second term.
© 2021 Joel Engelhardt. All rights reserved.
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