Hollywood municipal election update: Raez drops out leaving three mayoral candidates


Three candidates remain running for Mayor of Hollywood. Orlando Raez has announced this week that he is dropping out of the race. Raez, who works as an urban planner struggled to raise financial support and could not develop an effective campaign.

On his Facebook page he wrote, “Dear campaign supporters and volunteers, I’ve decided to suspend my campaign. Thank you for sharing your visions and issues with me. I will still be working to make a difference in our community as many of you already do. Please remember that YOUR actions will contribute more to the greatness of our community more than any political office can do. I urge you to be proactive and make your world a better place for yourselves, your families, and your neighbors. You have all the power, now wield it! – Your neighbor, Orlando Raez.”

Even though he has dropped out of the race because it is late in the campaign season, his name will appear on the ballot. Signs will be posted at polling locations and a note will be placed in absentee ballots saying a vote for Raez will not count.  The remaining candidates include Commissioner Patricia Asseff, Josh Levy, and State Senator Eleanor Sobel.

The Hollywood Election Candidates Forum at the Lippman Multi-Purpose Center recently provided a platform for would-be City representatives to sell themselves. The event brought in mayoral hopefuls as well as candidates for the District Two Commission.  Two of the three Hollywood mayoral candidates attended, Eleanor Sobel and Josh Levy.

Mayoral Candidates

Eleanor Sobel, the former Florida Senator and Hollywood Commissioner, said her government experience would benefit Hollywood residents and bring more funding to the City. “I will bring strong leadership to Hollywood,” she stated. “I love Hollywood. I’ve lived in Hollywood for the past 38 years and I will take the city to new heights.”

Josh Levy, an attorney active in Hollywood civic organizations, also thinks its important to promote business development in Hollywood. He believes Hollywood’s location near the airport, the seaport and major expressways offer a distinct advantage to the City. “We need to get companies to locate in Hollywood and contribute to the tax base. They will employ residents,” he said. Levy also plans to work with the Broward Public Schools to bring better education to Hollywood.

Levy and Sobel agree that the preservation of Hollywood’s green spaces is important. They also both plan to improve the 441 corridor if elected.

District Two Candidates

Candidates for District Two also came out for the event.

Maria Jackson wants to prevent overdevelopment in the City. She is also very concerned about the environment, and would strive to Hollywood’s preserve green space.

Timothy Burton wants to see more lighting in District Two. He also wants to improve the sewer system in District Two, which he feels is lacking. He pointed out that some properties in the district have to rely on septic tanks for sanitation.

Vice Mayor Peter Hernandez wants to be a voice for residents on the Commission, and create transparency in city government. He also wants to tighten up the city budget. Hernandez believes too much is being spent on the CRA, which he has called “welfare for developers.” Also, he made clear that he is opposed to cuts to lifeguard positions on the beach.

All the candidates had some common ground. They all said they want to improve Hollywood’s appearance and encourage more business development. They also touched on law enforcement, encouraging us to establish a dialogue between residents and police.

The Hollywood Beach Civic Association,the Hollywood North Beach Association , and The Hollywood Lakes Civic Association will host a District One Commissioner and City Mayor electoral debate Thursday, September 29 at 7 p.m.   Parking will be free.

Upcoming debates:



Date: September 22, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM – 01:30 PM EDT
Website: http://www.hollywoodchamber.org
Location:                     Hollywood Beach Community Center
1301 S Ocean Dr
Hollywood, FL 33019
Contact: 954-923-4000
Email: information@hollywoodchamber.org
Date/Time Details:                     Thursday, September 22, 2016
12 PM-1:30 PM
Fees/Admission:                                    $15 Member
$20 Non-member
Thursday September 29 at 7 p.m.
District 1 and Mayoral Candidates
Hollywood Beach Cultural & Community  Center
1301 South Ocean Dr.,
Hollywood, FL 33019


Picture of Author: Amanda Jones
Author: Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones specializes in social media marketing. She holds a Master's degree in Social Media Management from the University of Florida and a Social Media Professional Certificate from the University of Miami.


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