State House primary battle on ballot in Gardens

New District 87 pits Mike Caruso against Jane Justice; Rick Roth runs west of the turnpike.

Florida House primary

For years, Palm Beach Gardens’ sole state House member has been Republican Rick Roth, who first won the seat in 2016 and has defended it ever since.

But with redistricting, the city is split into two House districts. Roth faces a challenge in the November general election in his new District 94, but most of Palm Beach Gardens is not in it. 

All city residents living east of Florida’s Turnpike are now in District 87, which stretches up from Hypoluxo and Lantana and includes coastal Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach before taking in North Palm Beach, Juno Beach and most of Gardens.

Gardens voters will be asked to choose between state Rep. Mike Caruso, whose district now is confined to coastal south county, and Jane Justice in the Republican primary on Aug. 23. The winner will face Democrat Sienna Osta. 

Aside from statewide races and judgeships, Gardens voters also will be asked a referendum question during the Aug. 23 primary. The city wants permission from voters to continue to grant property tax exemptions to new and expanding businesses that are expected to create new, full-time jobs.

The existing program, passed by the voters in November 2012, expires in November 2022.


Roth, who has no primary opponent, faces Democrat Terence Davis in the Nov. 8 general election in District 94. The new district includes residents of Mirasol and PGA National and any one living west of the turnpike in Gardens and Jupiter. It also has all of Palm Beach County’s sugar cane fields and the three Glades cities of Pahokee, Belle Glade and South Bay.  

Early voting starts Aug. 8 and continues through Aug. 21. The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections website lets you view your sample ballot and provides a list of early voting locations.  In Gardens, early voting takes place at the Gardens branch of the Palm Beach County Library off of PGA Boulevard.

To read more about the Caruso-Justice race, please click here for a story I reported for The Coastal Star, a monthly newspaper in the south county barrier islands.

Or here: Six Republicans vie for three House/Senate seats in Aug. 23 primary

Also in local politics: Trump Corner yields to DeSantis Depot in Gardens

Rifle-toting challenger takes aim at Congressman Brian Mast

Plan for warehouses spins out of control at old Moroso Speedway site

How new legislative maps carve up parts of Palm Beach County

© 2022 Joel Engelhardt. All rights reserved.

Author: Joel Engelhardt

Joel Engelhardt is an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor based in Palm Beach Gardens. He spent more than 40 years in the newspaper business, including 28 years at The Palm Beach Post. As a reporter, he covered countywide growth, the 2000 election and the birth of Cityplace in West Palm Beach. As an editor, he oversaw probes into the opioid scourge, private prisons, police-involved shootings and more. For seven years, he worked on the paper’s editorial board. Joel left The Post in December 2020. He and his wife, Donna, have lived together in Palm Beach Gardens since 1992.

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