Paulette Armstead, an out black woman, was defeated in her bid to be the next Supervisor of Elections of Palm Beach County Tuesday night. She lost to the incumbent, Wendy Sartory Link, in a landslide with 71% of the vote.
Link was a Republican when she was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis after he suspended the former Supervisor Susan Bucher in January of 2019. DeSantis accused her of botching the general election in 2018.
Link decided to switch parties and run for the Democratic nomination. No Republicans are running in the general election, which means she will serve a full four-year term.
The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council chose to endorse Link over Armstead. Rand Hoch, president of the PBCHRC, said their decision was based on Link’s past support for LGBT causes, specifically when she served on the Palm Beach State College Board of Trustees. Hoch said Link bucked her party and voted with the Democrats on the board to pass domestic partnership benefits for employees.
“While we would love to have an openly LGBTQ person of color as our next Supervisor of Elections, PBCHRC Voters Alliance voted in accordance with our criteria and we endorsed Wendy Sartory Link instead,” Hoch said.
One of the criteria includes how a candidate has voted on LGBT issues in the past.
Before her run for SOE Armstead ran for the Florida House of Representatives in Broward County where she lost by 718 votes. Armstead has made history before as the first Black female police officer hired by the St. Petersburg Police Department.