By Selene Raj
Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton secured a landslide victory in his bid for reelection in Tamarac’s District 1.
While votes are still being counted, Bolton has been declared the victor against challenger Michelle Jones, with 75 percent and 6,257 votes, with his opponent, Jones, trailing behind with just 25 percent and 2,115 votes.
Elected in 2016, he won against an eight-year-incumbent, Pam Bushnell, and became the first Black city commissioner in Tamarac. In December 2019, he was appointed Vice Mayor, a rotating position that will change next month.
Bolton, whose first-term accomplishments include mandating baby-changing tables in men’s bathrooms, creating One Tamarac multicultural festival, and securing funds for renovating Caporella Park, said that he was running for reelection to continue the work and the projects that he started in his first four years.
He has prioritized direct connections with residents by giving out his cell number, and during the pandemic, buying masks for residents in need out-of-pocket and paying for signs to welcome them home and remind them to stay safe using facial coverings.
He recently advocated for an ordinance for a living wage policy in Tamarac, which was passed on Wednesday, October 28, just days before the election.
After a contentious race, filled with accusations of stolen signs, mutual criticism, and a lengthy campaign for all involved, Bolton has retained his commission seat in a solid win and feels that his first term has been validated by those he feels most responsible to.
“Words cannot describe how I feel; I’m overwhelmed,” he said, “I’ve gone through a lot, and this solidifies what my residents think of me.”
He said that he’s glad that he had an opponent.
“Sometimes, you’re doing good work, and you don’t know if the people approve of what you’re doing. You can do as many surveys as you want, but the real validation is an election,” he said.
Tonight, he plans to drive around the city, leaving “Thank You” signs for the residents and cleaning up his campaign signs. Tomorrow, he plans to greet residents and thank them personally before taking a vacation.
After a long campaign, he plans to celebrate his win — and his anniversary with his wife, Carla Bolton, in Jamaica.
When he returns, he is eager to continue serving.
“The people, the residents of the city, are my boss, and I will never forget that. I never stop knocking, I never stop calling, I engage the community every chance I get,” said Bolton.
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- Selene Raj is a writer and a Florida International University graduate. Born in Trinidad and raised in America, she completed her Master's in Mass Communications in 2020, and has been living in Coral Springs since 2004. She is passionate about the communities she lives and works in and loves reporting and sharing stories that are as complex and meaningful as the people who live in them.