2024 Election

Flagler Tiger Bay Club's Meet-and-Greet Brings Candidates to Voters


The Flagler Tiger Bay Club held its 2024 candidate meet-and-greet on Thursday at the Palm Coast Community Center. There, dozens of political candidates set to appear on the ballot to represent Flagler County in various levels of government had the chance to speak to voters directly, and provide a case for why their candidacy on a personal level.

The event took up much of the sprawling Community Center, with the myriad of candidate tables occupying the largest room in the building. A straw poll was also conducted for attendees over the course of the evening, taking a non-scientific, informal sample of where attendees stand after getting to meet some of their candidates. Not to be confused with a scientific poll, a straw poll is not meant to be viewed as a reliable window into the opinions of a community as a whole.

Easily hundreds of residents attended, making even that largest room packed and hard to navigate at times. But that was exactly the problem the Tiger Bay Club was hoping to have. Engagement between voters and candidates was high, and in at least some instances, seemingly robust and meaningful.

A small handful of candidates were no-shows, some of whom even had a table and placard set up for them on event day. County Commission candidate and current Palm Coast Vice Mayor Ed Danko was among them, as was third-time mayoral candidate Alan Lowe. Also missing was Janie Ruddy, one of two School Board candidates running to take the seat of an outgoing Colleen Conklin, and first-time County Commission candidate Bill Clark.

It was said by some in attendance that write-in candidate Jose Rodriguez Fabiano, but he was nowhere to be seen for the duration of the event. Neither was Michael McElroy, the other write-in candidate on the County Commission ballot. Each candidate’s non-party entries are being scrutinized for having closed off their races to non-Republican Flagler voters. Only one Mosquito Control candidate was absent: incumbent Seat 3-holder Ralph Lightfoot.

Most of the applicable federal candidates were no-shows as well, somewhat predictably. Incumbent Congressman Michael Waltz had one of his staffers, Randy Stapleford, in attendance to informally represent him, while Democratic congressional challenger James Stockton attended in-person.

The list of local candidates who were in attendance was much more exhaustive than those who weren’t. Nearly every candidate for county and Palm Coast seats had a table with campaign information, shaking hands and talking to voters about their platforms and resumes. The degree to which the evening’s straw poll results were impacted by those personal interactions was seemingly high; candidates who didn’t attend mostly didn’t do well. Danko was a distant second behind opponent Pam Richardson, while Clark was easily outdone by Kim Carney and Nick Klufas.

The results in races where each candidate did attend were interesting, if not entirely clairvoyant. Incumbent County Commissioner Andy Dance bested challenger Fernando Melendez healthily, but not by as wide a margin as his relative popularity would suggest. Local state House candidate Darryl Boyer easily cleared his Republican primary opponent Sam Greco, despite the latter earning the endorsement of House Speaker Paul Renner, the current seat holder.

In one of the more intriguing polls of the evening, School Board candidate Lauren Ramirez soundly beat opponent Vincent Sullivan. Both are political newcomers. All seven Palm Coast City Council candidates showed up, with Andrew Werner taking the District 5 poll by a solid margin, and Ty Miller beating runner-up Kathy Austrino by one lone vote.

The full results of the straw poll are available here, per the Supervisor of Elections Office. Candidates with (i) are the incumbent.

U.S. Senate

  1. Rick Scott (R, i) - 76.11% (188)
  2. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) - 12.15% (30)
  3. John Columbus (R) - 4.05% (10)
  4. Keith Gross (R) - 4.05% (10)
  5. Stanley Campbell (D) - 2.43% (6)
  6. Rod Joseph (D) - 1.21% (3)
  7. Brian Rush (D) - 0.00% (0)

U.S. Representative, District 6

  1. Michael Waltz (R, i) - 74.25% (173)
  2. James Stockton (D) - 15.88% (37)
  3. John Grow (R) - 9.87% (23)

Florida State Senator, District 7

  1. Tom Leek (R) - 57.02% (134)
  2. Gerry James (R) - 17.87% (42)
  3. George Anthony ‘T’ Hill (D) - 15.74% (37)
  4. David Shoar (R) - 9.36% (22)

State Representative, District 19

  1. Darryl Boyer (R) - 61.30% (141)
  2. Sam Greco (R) - 21.74% (50)
  3. Adam Morley (D) - 16.96% (39)

Flagler County Commission, District 1

  1. Andy Dance (R) - 63.18% (139)
  2. Fernando Melendez (R) - 36.82% (81)

Flagler County Commission, District 3

  1. Kim Carney (R) - 47.00% (94)
  2. Nick Klufas (R) - 44.50% (89)
  3. Bill Clark (R) - 8.50% (17)

Flagler County Commission, District 5

  1. Pam Richardson (R) - 73.06% (160)
  2. Ed Danko (R) - 26.94% (59)

Flagler School Board, District 3

  1. Derek Barrs - 69.94% (121)
  2. Janie Ruddy - 30.06% (52)

Flagler School Board, District 5

  1. Lauren Ramirez - 66.00% (132)
  2. Vincent Sullivan - 34.00% (68)

Mayor of Palm Coast

  1. David Alfin (i) - 34.39% (76)
  2. Mike Norris - 27.60% (61)
  3. Peter Johnson - 16.29% (36)
  4. Cornelia Downing Manfre - 11.31% (25)
  5. Alan Lowe - 10.41% (23)

Palm Coast City Council, District 1

  1. Ty Miller - 36.18% (72)
  2. Kathy Austrino - 35.68% (71)
  3. Shara Brodsky - 17.09% (34)
  4. Jeffery Seib - 11.06% (22)

Palm Coast City Council, District 3

  1. Andrew Werner - 44.04% (85)
  2. Ray Stevens - 30.05% (58)
  3. Dana ‘Mark’ Stancel - 25.91% (50)

East Flagler Mosquito Control District, Seat 1

  1. Perry Mitrano - 62.16% (115)
  2. Julius ‘Jules’ Kwiatkowski (i) - 37.84% (70)

East Flagler Mosquito Control District, Seat 3

  1. Lance Alred - 61.96% (114)
  2. Ralph Lightfoot (i) - 38.04% (70)