Delray March elections start to ramp up


Sitting commissioners file to run, gain opponents

Staff report

Delray voters will not hit the polls until March, but the election season is already heating up.

Incumbent commissioners Bill Bathurst and Shirley Johnson have both filed for reelection and they both have opponents already.

Bathurst was elected to Seat 2 and Johnson to Seat 4 in 2018. The next city election is scheduled for March 17.

Bathurst ran without an opponent, so this is the first time he will face opposition.

“I have been honored to serve on the Delray Beach Commission and advance a citizen-driven vision for Delray’s future,” Bathurst said in a statement. “It’s based on a long-term perspective that will allow our community’s children and grandchildren to be able to get a job in this city decades from now and also be able to enjoy the historic buildings and culture that we have today.”

Prior to being elected as city commissioner, Bathurst served on several boards and committees including the Historic Preservation Board, Congress Avenue Task Force, Palm Beach State College Dean’s Advisory Board, District Chairman Boy Scouts of America, and the Delray Beach Historical Society.

The long time Delray resident has three opponents, Malikah Benoit, Jennifer Jones and Debra Tendrich, have filed to run against Bathurst.

Little information has been put out by Benoit or Jones on their campaigns.

Tendrich is the CEO of a nonprofit she started, Eat Better Live Better. The nonprofit is focused on helping “prevent, reduce and reverse childhood obesity and other dietary related diseases by providing nutrition education and healthy foods,” according to its mission statement.

Bathurst has raised the most amount of money so far with $15,350 in his coffers, according to the latest campaign financial reports. Tendrich has $5,400 in her war chest, Benoit has raised $590 and Jones just filed to run.

Commissioner Johnson will also face opposition in her reach to retain Seat 4. Angela Burns has filed to run against her.

She posted on social media that she is “motivated to serve my community in a different capacity that has been my home for 56 years.”

Burns has a background in education, according to her post.

“I feel that this All America City needs to experience some positive change and collaboration between the leadership and the people in this city. I have witnessed as many others have, community concerns and needs fall on deaf ears and big business over people have become the city’s priority. It is time for change,” she posted on Facebook.

Johnson has raised $5,790 so far and Burns has $350 in her account.

All candidates will still need to qualify to officially be placed on the ballot.

The Delray Newspaper will take a look at candidates’ stances on issues, campaign contribution and other election information as the race gets closer..