RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — After a recent ruling by Circuit Judge Scott Kerner, Riviera Beach City Councilwoman Julia Botel has been granted permission to seek re-election in her Singer Island district during the upcoming March 19 elections. This decision comes after a previous ruling by then-city clerk Tawanna Smith, who declared Botel ineligible for the ballot due to her use of a personal check to pay the filing fee and the submission of her application a few minutes past the noon deadline.
Botel, however, defended her actions, asserting that she had made a genuine effort to file her application and that she had made her decision to run just two hours before the official filing deadline. In light of this, Judge Kerner agreed with Botel’s argument and concluded that she should indeed be included on the ballot.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time Botel has faced controversy during her political career. Three years ago, she was censured by Governor Ron DeSantis after it was discovered that she had used her position in office to solicit donations for her personal charity.
Despite these challenges, Botel has managed to serve two terms as a City Councilwoman, and she now seeks a third term. As the March 19 elections approach, it will be interesting to see how voters respond to this latest development and whether they will choose to re-elect Botel or opt for a new representative in the Singer Island district.
In conclusion, the ruling by Judge Kerner has paved the way for Julia Botel to seek re-election in her district. However, her past controversies and the censure by Governor DeSantis may impact her chances of securing a third term. As the elections draw near, the voters of Riviera Beach will have the final say in determining the future of their representation in City Council.