PORT ST. LUCIE— The one candidate who voters here overwhelming elected Tuesday, was Anthony Bonna.
Bonna, 35, was elected to his first full City Council term from District 3, capturing 63% of the vote, according to unofficial results from the Supervisor of Elections Office.
The former county commissioner, now vice president of sales at GlobalED Foundation, will serve a four-year term and earn $54,471 annually.
Challenger Fritz Masson Alexandre, 59, a chiropractor assistant, received about 37% of the vote, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office.
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Bonna also defeated Alexandre in the September 2021 special primary election for the seat.
“In the first partial term, we were able to vote to reduce the tax rate, to add police officers and work on important road projects, Bonna said Tuesday night. “I look forward to continue doing that important work throughout the next four years as the city grows.”
For Bonna, there’s no one specific problem he can focus on, but many, he said.
They include continuing to lower the city tax rate and promoting job creation with livable wages — especially since residents must earn about $36.50 per hour, or 3.5 times the minimum wage, to afford rent here, according to a 2022 National Low Income Housing Coalition report.
And as a member of the city Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and the St. Lucie County Homelessness Task Force, providing less-expensive housing options is one of Bonna’s top priorities, he’s said.
One strategy he’s proposed is to offer incentives to developers to build workforce housing, which targets middle-income workers such as police officers, firefighters and teachers.
Creating more rental-assistance programs, similar to assistance the city offered with federal CARES and American Rescue Plan funds, is another plan Bonna hopes to accomplish this term, he said.
Port St. Lucie is the seventh-most populous city in the state, according to U.S. census data, and has seen rapid residential and commercial development in recent years.
To keep up with the influx of people moving here, Bonna believes, the city must enact checks and balances, particularly on developers.
For example, ensuring impact fees are paid by companies that build homes or other properties here is crucial, because those funds back infrastructure improvements such as road repairs.
Bonna received more than $53,000 in campaign contributions through Tuesday, according to campaign finance records.
His donors included St. Lucie County Firefighters PAC, state Reps. John Snyder and Dana Trabulsy, Mayor Shannon Martin and Vice Mayor Jolien Caraballo.
One indicator why Alexandre lost is money: he had no donors but loaned his campaign $500, records show.