Mayor Gary Resnick announced April 28 that he will be dropping out of the November Wilton Manors mayoral race and running for one of the two commission seats.
Resnick, who has been on the city commission since 1998 and mayor since 2008, the longest mayoral tenure in city history, made the announcement at the city’s annual volunteer luncheon.
He told The Gazette that he and his partner, Eric Bucher, decided being mayor for another term would be too much of a demand on Resnick’s time. “But 10 years is a good enough run and I think I can still support the city and support the projects I’ve been involved in legislatively.” He said the time requirements for being mayor and being commissioner are “night and day. Even though it’s a part-time job, it’s a full-time job. There’s so many more events they invite the mayor to, too.”
Also running for the commission seats are Commissioner Scott Newton, Central Area Neighborhood Association President Paul Rolli, and Dr. Katharine Campbell, a resident and business owner. The two people who get the most votes will be elected to the seats.
Resnick’s departure from the mayoral race leaves Vice Mayor Justin Flippen and resident Boyd Corbin vying for mayor. The official deadline for registering as a commission or mayoral candidate is in June.
“It seems like we’re playing musical mayors,” said Rolli about Resnick’s decision to drop out of the mayoral race. “Gary said he wasn’t going to run. He said it several times. You just wonder what’s going on. If Gary should win, nothing’s really changed on the commission.”
According to several people who were at Resnick’s 2016 swearing-in, the mayor declared he would not run again. In an interview with The Gazette not long after, Resnick stated he would probably not run again but left open the possibility. In March of this year, he announced he would run for mayor and seek a sixth term.
Asked to comment, Newton said he doesn’t know why Resnick changed his mind but that he can do whatever he wants. He also said it would be easier for him because now he can support Flippen for mayor. “I just have to do for Wilton Manors the best I can . . . I don’t think I’m really running against anyone. I’m running for a seat.”
Campbell said she’s not thinking about Resnick entering the commission race. “My focus is providing the benefits I can bring to the table. As a clinical social worker, I bring a unique set of skills. I’m focused on what I can bring to the city.”