PALM COAST – The 2024 Palm Coast mayoral election now features five candidates who’ve ever either filed or stated they intend to. Incumbent Mayor David Alfin will face first-time challengers Mike Norris, Scott McDonald, and Peter Johnson, along with two-time runner-up Alan Lowe.
The announcement from Lowe to run for mayor for a third time came on Thursday with a statement to his social media followers. The first attempt made by Lowe at winning the mayor’s chair came in 2020, when he ran amidst a field of five, Though he advanced to the runoff against incumbent Milissa Holland, he was bested by 2,558 votes out of almost 50,000, good for a 5.12% margin.
Holland’s resignation in 2021 opened the seat for a special election. With no incumbent, Lowe called off a City Council campaign in its infancy and instead ran again for mayor. He once again placed second, this time to Alfin. Lowe lost by fewer votes this time – just 1,789 – but the percentage was margin was greater, with Alfin winning by 9.43%. Lowe went on to resume his initial City Council campaign for the 2022 election, advancing to a run-off but losing to Theresa Carli Pontieri by 12,712 votes, just under 35% behind her.
In Lowe’s previous campaigns he was closely allied by City Council member Ed Danko, who was successful in his 2020 bid for the District 1 seat. As Danko himself is now working on a campaign for the Board of County Commissioners, both Lowe and Danko confirmed that the pair would not have time to collaborate again during this campaign cycle.
“Watching the city council meetings and the lack of listening to the people on the part of the mayor, I have decided to run again,” Lowe said in his announcement. “Infrastructure maintenance, quality of life and economic development are a must have.” One of the main issues championed by Lowe both as a candidate and as an involved resident has been the potential need for a re-dredging of the saltwater canals in Palm Coast’s C and F sections. The issue reached the forefront of city discussion in 2023, but a survey that turned up less alarming results than some had suspected took it squarely off the hot seat of Palm Coast’s most pressing issues.
The addition of Lowe to the 2024 Palm Coast mayoral election brings the field to five for the third straight time. Five candidates ran in 2020 (Holland, Lowe, John Brady, Michael Schottey, and Donald Greene), then six in 2021 (Alfin, Lowe, Cornelia Manfre, Doug Courtney, Kathy Austrino, and Carol Bacha). That trend makes Palm Coast unique among Flagler County’s cities; Bunnell Mayor Catherine Robinson goes unchallenged more often than not, and Flagler Beach just saw Patti King become mayor-elect by default when no other residents ran against her.