Michael Napoleone receives 80% of vote, wins Wellington mayoral race

Tuesday’s election saw a very close race for Council Seat 4 in Wellington.

Just over 30 votes separate the top two candidates, Maria Antua and Shelly Lariz Albright. Antua has a slight edge over Lariz Albright by a vote total of 2,270 to 2,239.

Palm Beach County election officials said they anticipate a runoff in this race.

Voters in Wellington also headed to the polls to decide who would become the new mayor.

Vice Mayor Michael Napoleone won nearly 80% of the vote over opponent Bart Novack.

WPTV asked the newly elected mayor what he thinks the results show about the pulse of the village right now.

He pointed out a common campaign theme that did well, one where candidates prioritized keeping the feel of Wellington as a good place to raise a family while also balancing the needs of growth and development.

He discussed what his immediate priorities will be once he takes office.

“Normally I would say that my priorities, if you look back at our past accomplishments for the past eight years, doing more of that,” Napoleone said. “But I think right now, my biggest priority is try to bring the community back together because there’s been so much dissension and animosity over recent issues and recent votes that I think the first step we’ve got to do is try to bring us back together to the great hometown we’ve always been and continue moving forward together.”

He said one of those divisive issues was a vote by the previous village council to allow developer Wellington Lifestyle Partners to build on more than 90 acres in the Equestrian Preserve.

Napoleone said it was an unprecedented move because the village had previously expanded the preserve.

He said he was among the many against taking land out of the preserve. But moving forward, he said he doesn’t think the preserve will be as easy to build on for any potential developers who might have a similar request in the future.

Napoleone will become the village’s seventh mayor.

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