Dean Trantalis has been re-elected as Fort Lauderdale's mayor.
Trantalis' over 48,000 votes bested his opponent's, Ken Cooper, nearly 36,000 votes in a race primarily focused on clean water and improved infrastrucutre.
For a city known for its scenic beaches and lively nightlife, it’s what lies beneath the surface that took center stage during the mayoral race.
At the tail end of 2019, a series of sewer main breaks caused over 200 million gallons of sewage to spill across the city.
City commissioners recently agreed to pay over $3 million to go directly toward environmental projects to avoid the state’s original record fine.
Trantalis blamed the misuse of funds in the previous administration for delaying projects aimed at improving the city’s sewage system. He hopes voters rely on his experience in local government when heading out to the polls on election night.
“I have more experience in government, I understand the issues,” Trantalis said. “I’ve been more involved in trying to solve the problems and challenges that we have.”
As far as COVID-19, both men agreed there shouldn’t be any further shutdowns that hurt the economy, and that masks are imperative to keeping the virus at bay - until a vaccine is developed and distributed widely.
Both candidates felt it was also too early to determine whether major tourism engines, like spring break, would return next year.