By Selene Raj
With only a 102 vote lead, real estate businessman Elvin Villalobos narrowly won the District 3 commission seat against incumbent Commissioner Julie Fishman.
This win makes Villalobos, 35, the first Hispanic-American to be elected to the Tamarac City Commission.
The final vote count had Villalobos with 4,436 votes and 44.92 percent, Fishman following with 4,334 votes and 43.89 percent, and Wright trailing behind with 1,105 votes and 11.19 percent.
With a 1 percent lead, their race fell out of the range of an automatic recount, and Villalobos won the seat.
On social media, Commissioner Fishman expressed appreciation to her supporters.
“I am proud with the campaign I ran and the work I have done in the last four years,” Commissioner Fishman said. “To my supporters, thank you for everything you did to keep me going and on the right track.”
She said that her door would remain open and that she would be just a phone call away.
“You have my gratitude and love,” she said.
Villalobos said Commissioner Fishman called him to congratulate him, wishing him the best as he prepared to lead Tamarac’s District 3, which includes the Kings Point and Westwood communities.
A resident of Westwood 3 since 2015, Villalobos has been active in the community serving on the HOA Board, involved in the Tamarac-North Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce as a Trustee member, and being part of the Tamarac Historical Society.
He was endorsed by Hispanic Vote and the Woodlands Defense Fund, who took issue with developers’ plans to build homes on their golf course—a contentious issue in recent years.
His first order of business, he said, is to get to know staff and familiarize himself with how things operate so he can gauge which areas need improvement.
“In addition to that, from listening to so many residents, the building department needs some ramping up,” he said.
His first term begins on November 16, when he will be sworn in.
“I am at peace,” he said, “I am excited and ready to serve, as always.”
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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.