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Bridget Moran

Our Town by William Kelly: Bridget Moran defeats John David Corey in close contest for a Town Council seat

Bridget Moran edged past opponent John David Corey in Tuesday’s town election for a seat on the Town Council, claiming 51.3 percent of the vote to Corey’s 48.7 percent.

Moran tallied 1,725 votes to Corey’s 1,637, according to unofficial results posted Tuesday by the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections.

Turnout was 44 percent of the town’s 7,661 registered voters.

Moran will be sworn at the April 9 council meeting to a two-year term in the Group 3 seat being vacated by Council President Margaret Zeidman, who is retiring after eight years on the dais.

Moran and Corey are both Midtown residents and Palm Beach Civic Association directors.

In a race dominated by concerns about intensifying commercial development and traffic congestion on the island, Moran pledged to protect Palm Beach’s small community feel, prioritize public safety, and maintain fiscal responsibility.

A 25-year resident who raised a family in Palm Beach, Moran emphasized her collaborative approach, town roots and years of voluntary service.

Moran said Wednesday that she was cautiously optimistic throughout the race that she would prevail.

“I was surprised at how close it was,” she said. “I was hoping to win by a larger margin.”

Moran said the voters were clear about what was on their minds.

“I was absolutely floored with the level of concern with traffic and construction,” she said. “I was surprised by how much more important ‘life issues’ were to residents.”

Moran described the race as civil and focused on the issues. Now that it’s over, she said, it’s time for unity.

“I’m looking forward to listening to the people who supported me as well as those who didn’t,” she said. “We are one town.”

Moran is serving her third year as a member of the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

She is a director of Safeguard Palm Beach (formerly known as Palm Beach Crime Watch) and has volunteered for organizations including the Palm Beach Police & Fire Foundation, Rosarian Academy and the Town of Palm Beach United Way.

Corey is a real estate investor and former developer from Boston who recently completed seven years as a member of the Architectural Commission.

He founded Palm Beach Walks, to advocate for more pedestrian spaces, shortly after moving to town in 2012. More recently, he co-founded Friends of Lake Park Drive, a neighborhood group that pushed for preservation of open space next to the Town Marina while it was under construction.

Corey based his campaign on a “residents first” platform, promising to stand up against overdevelopment and bring an energetic, results-driven approach to his role as a councilman.

In an interview Wednesday, Corey said he was surprised by his election loss.

“I worked the polls from 7 to 7, and it really felt like I knew so many people and that our message of ‘residents first’ was resonating,” he said. “We are 88 votes apart. You have one winner and one loser. That’s the system. But, in reality, it was a draw.”

He added, “I do think the mandate still holds, where the residents want to be first and overdevelopment pressures must be checked. I have no regrets whatsoever. I really think I was able to help drive the conversation in the town.”

Corey said it’s an “open question” whether he will run again in the future. But he said his service to the town isn’t over.

“I have way too many folks behind me, to not speak for them,” he said. “They are counting on me.”

The town’s elected officials typically remain publicly neutral during political contests. Corey, however, was endorsed by council members Ted Cooney and Julie Araskog.

In her campaign ads, Moran said she was proud to have been endorsed by more than 200 residents and town leaders, including former council members and former mayors Lesly Smith, Gail Coniglio, and Jack McDonald.

Moran raised $182,195 and spent $122,858 as of March 10, according to her most recent campaign treasurer’s report, filed with the Palm Beach Town Clerk’s office. Corey raised $122,825 and spent $77,406 during the same period, according to his treasurer’s report.

Moran is married to Tim Moran, a retired business executive who is president and co-founder of the Palm Beach Police & Fire Foundation.

Corey is married to Miguel Rosales, an architect and bridge designer.

 

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