Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam won a third term in political ofﬁce in a landslide over political neophyte Rudy Theophin, with 90.6 percent of the vote, during the March 14 general election.
"Thank you city of Miramar for your overwhelming vote of conﬁdence," said Messam, 48. "I don’t take this mandate lightly and I’m humbled to be re-elected as mayor of the most amazing city. With your continued support, we will continue to achieve greatness beyond our wildest imagination being an example for cities all over America."
Theophin, a ﬁnancial advisor, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Miramar Commissioner Alexandra Davis also won another term, running unopposed.
In other municipal races in Broward County, Coconut Creek incumbent Commissioner Becky Tooley was narrowly upset in her reelection bid, losing to Jeffrey Wasserman 50.68 percent to 49.32.
Commissioner John Brodie, who had been appointed, won a three-person race against Alfred Delgado and Nancy Gayle Fry. Brodie received 40 percent of the vote to Fry’s 34 and Delgado’s 26. Coconut Creek voters also approved by 86 percent a charter amendment requiring an election to ﬁll any commission vacancies.
In North Lauderdale, incumbent Commissioner Darrell Lewis-Ricketts won reelection capturing 69 percent of the vote in a three-candidate race while Michelle Jones won 30 percent and Kimotta Johnson received only two votes.
In Boca Raton, where there were no commission races, 59 percent of voters rejected a charter amendment to change commissioners’ term limits from three years to four. Marc Widget ran unopposed to ﬁll the seat of term-limited Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke.
In Miramar, Theophin succumbed to Messam’s popularity, fundraising efforts and supporters.
Messam, a former college football standout at Florida State University and NFL player, outraised his opponent $74,000 to $1,600, according to campaign ﬁnance reports.
The Democratic presidential candidate in 2020, who later withdrew his bid, is Miramar’s ﬁrst African American mayor. He ﬁrst won the mayoral seat in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019 with 86 percent of the vote.
According to the 2020 Census, Miramar, in the southern portion of Broward County, has 134,721 residents, about 42 percent of African descent, 41 Hispanic and 9 percent White.
Messam, a general contractor, is a ﬁrstgeneration American, born to Jamaican immigrants. His father worked the sugarcane ﬁelds as a migrant contract worker. Messam was a member of Florida State University’s 1993 national championship football team.
In endorsing his candidacy in 2019, the Sun-Sentinel credited him with the city’s success as a magnet for corporate headquarters. More large corporations have their operations in Miramar than any other South Florida city, according to the endorsement. Royal Caribbean Cruises, Comcast and Spirit Airlines call the city home.
This year, Messam took a stance after Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration rejected an Advanced Placement African American Studies course for high schools.
On the ﬁrst day of Black History Month, Miramar passed Messam-led legislation to denounce the state’s decision that deprives Blacks from learning about African-American history.
Messam said the rejection is the latest example of attacks on Black people by DeSantis.
“I can’t call the governor racist. I don’t know him personally. I don’t know his heart,” said Messam, “but what I do know is that the policies that he brings forward always seem to attack Black people and people of color.”
Messam said the governor may retaliate against his city but the residents will not back down.
“The governor at any time can take actions that can come against our city,” said Messam, “but we want to show we are not afraid, we will stand up for our residents.”