After a tough couple of months of campaigning, Teri Johnston has come out of this mayoral election with her second win, making her the first woman in Key West re-elected for a second term as mayor. Under the events of COVID-19, her campaigning was unsurprisingly different this time around, but still extremely effective.
“We successfully implemented a fully-online yard sign program that let our team install signs completely contactless when people requested them,” says Johnston. Because of this, the number of yard signs doubled compared to her first campaign in 2018.
Johnston explained that she did expect to win the election a second time, but she still had some concerns. “There was a lot of misinformation disseminated during the campaign, which needed to be corrected immediately.”, says Johnston.
The polls closed on August 18th at 7pm, so up until then her team worked non-stop to seal the win. “Hard work has a tendency to pay off, so I was fairly confident that the community was behind me.” states Johnston.
Her competitors, Mark Rossi and Rick Haskins, had some strengths that could secure a possible win. Rossi because of his political experience in the City Commission, and Haskins due to his social connections, but Johnston explained that they were all about boosting Key West’s economy and not it’s unity. “I believe that we can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy community. Ultimately, that resonated with the voters,” says Johnston.
Johnston already has some plans up her sleeve for the next two years in office: lowering the COVID-19 rates to recover our economy, creating bicycle plans to reduce congestion in the streets, increasing alternate modes of transportation, low-income housing, build a 24-hour overnight shelter, continuing infrastructure progress, increasing solar installations, and revitalizing Duval Street after 44 years.
Adding on to the Coronavirus situation, Johnston is going to enforce the safety of locals and tourists by putting in “common sense measures.” “We will work on reopening the few businesses that remain closed by the Governor in a safe and cautious manner. We are going to take the hand that’s dealt to us, and capitalize it by preparing Key West for sustainable and respectful tourism opportunities.” She indicates that this would be a wonderful idea to advertise our town as, “COVID Free Key West.”
Johnston is open for suggestions from not only adults, but the Key West High School (KWHS) students as well. If you would like to contact Teri Johnston, her email and City Hall phone number are firstname.lastname@example.org and (305)809-3840.