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2024 Election

Cornelia Manfre to Run for Palm Coast Mayor, Her Second Attempt

Manfre at a 2021 campaign forum. ⓒ AskFlagler

Cornelia Manfre has filed to run for Mayor of Palm Coast, marking the second straight mayoral election in which she’ll compete. Manfre is a global real estate advisor who acquainted herself with the political community during her campaigns in the 2021 special mayoral election and in her 2020 bid for Palm Coast City Council.

“My leadership skills, my 25 years as a resident of Palm Coast, my forty years of business experience attracting commercial and industrial tax base are the antidote to the inept leadership of Mayor Alfin,” Manfre said in her announcement, taking a sharper tone than at most any point in her 2021 campaign. I represent the change the citizens of Palm Coast are demanding at City Hall.”


Where the Race Stands

Manfre’s entry officially brings the field to five candidates – the same number it reached on the 2020 primary ballot and one short of the 2021 group. There’s technically six registered, but Scott McDonald has confirmed he no longer plans on moving forward with his campaign. Manfre will compete against incumbent David Alfin, and fellow challengers Peter Johnson, Alan Lowe, and Mike Norris.

Three-fifths of the current field have candidate experience. Manfre ran against Councilman Nick Klufas in 2020, coming up short with 43.29%, good for a bit over six thousand votes short. She again fell short in 2021, when she ran to fill the seat vacated by a recently-resigned Mayor Milissa Holland. She pulled 24.04% of the vote in a field of six, finishing third.

Both of the candidates who placed ahead of Manfre in 2021 are running again: incumbent Alfin is running for re-election, and Lowe is making his third attempt at the mayor’s seat and fourth overall try for the City Council dais. Alfin also ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2020, while Lowe’s mayoral campaigns came in 2020 and 2021, followed by a City Council bid in 2022.

Manfre’s other two opponents are Peter Johnson and Mike Norris, the former self-employed and the latter a small business owner. Neither have run for office before, but both have made frequent appearances at forums and Council meetings to familiarize voters with their reasons for running and outlooks on Palm Coast issues.

Heavy Criticism of the Incumbent

In her statement of candidacy, Manfre issued a string of sharp rebukes of Alfin. Mayor Alfin hired an inexperienced City Manager who initially did not want the job,” she said, referring to the generally popular Denise Bevan. “He then fired her as a scapegoat blaming her for his own incompetent management of the city. Alfin’s mistake cost the city a whopping $175,000 in a contract buyout.

“He raised his own salary by a hundred and fifty  per cent with little regard for public input or statistical support. He chased two longstanding businesses out of the city, perpetuating the anti- business reputation of the city.

“He attempted to impose a  new franchise tax on residents’ FPL electric bill and has even publicly stated he will support a water bill  increase once the election is over. Poor planning has caused our swales and roads to be ignored and our sewer capacity to be in an emergency situation. This is all occurring while the city’s housing stock  is rapidly developing, but our commercial and industrial tax base is not.”

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.



  1. TR

    May 16, 2024 at 1:30 pm

    OH HELL NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! She’s another realtor. Absolutely not.

    • Chuck Dressler

      May 17, 2024 at 1:34 pm

      We don’t need any real estate agents. They are the ones that are ruining this town. Well, What used to be a town, Now it’s.
      A city, With all the city problems.

  2. Crystal Lang

    May 18, 2024 at 6:45 am

    I posted a reply the other day but it has not been posted, not sure why maybe because I replied to TR instead of posting a comment? TR, did you get a reply from me. In any event I will say it again. No way! Did a little birdie whisper in someones ear that they can get rich quick if you are a realtor and mayor at the same time??????

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