Gov. Charlie Crist crossed party lines last year to appoint long-time state Rep. Priscilla Taylor of District 84 to a vacant Palm Beach County Commission seat.
Crist, then a Republican, took heat for appointing a Democrat to the seat left vacant after the popular Addie Greene resigned citing health problems.
But, on Nov. 2, Taylor won’t be returning the favor. Crist switched to Independent in his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Taylor is sticking with the Democratic Party, endorsing Kendrick Meek in the three-way race that also includes Republican Marco Rubio.
Taylor’s stance did not surprise those who know her. They say the former insurance agency owner is fiercely loyal to her constituents. She has no problem standing up for what she believes in, her supporters are quick to say.
At a recent roast in her honor, sponsored by the Together We Stand Democratic Club of West Palm Beach, her friend and roaster Lynne Hubbard, a former Riviera Beach councilwoman, called Taylor “no-nonsense” when it comes to her standing up for her constituents.
The roast/luncheon took place Oct. 2 at the Airport Hilton West Palm Beach.
Voters will have a chance on Nov. 2 to decide whether to keep Taylor on the commission. She is being challenged by Vincent Goodman, a Republican, who was also on Crist’s short list to succeed Greene.
The race between Taylor and Goodman is not viewed as one of the most hotly contested in the county. Taylor has name-recognition and has held political posts for a decade. Goodman, a retired Palm Beach County school administrator, is a political newcomer, though he has sat on several community boards.
“I’m glad I’m here because there’s a lot to do in Palm Beach County,” Taylor said.
Goodman, too, believes that there is much to be done in the county but insists that county government “is out of control.”
“I am running for this seat to bring it back under public constraints,” Goodman said in an e-mail response to questions from South Florida Times. “My public involvement over the last 40 years will add a new dimension in bringing commonsense government to the people of District 7 and Palm Beach County.”
“My 38 years teaching students and being an assistant principal in Palm Beach, serving as a role model to my family and to thousands of youth within our community, and my public service on numerous boards and committees within the county and state have demonstrated my honesty, integrity and personal character and have prepared me to be an elected official,” Goodman said.
Taylor, whom Success Magazine named one of its 25 Most Influential Black Women in 2006, entered elected office in 1999 when she was elected a member of the Port Commission. She rose to chairwoman and remained on the commission until 2004.
That year, she was elected to the state House for District 84 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.
Goodman, who said he was not disappointed that Crist picked Taylor over him for the County Commission seat, concedes that Taylor’s name recognition could be an advantage for her but added, “Name recognition without good works and a lack of knowledge of the main issues within the district are no good.”