The bun will run.
Former Key West city commissioner Margaret Romero, known for her trademark hairstyle, filed paperwork on May 4 to officially enter the Key West mayor’s race.
“The time has come for the community to once again respect one another and for every voice to be heard,” Romero told the Keys Weekly on May 4.
She is the only candidate so far to challenge incumbent two-term Mayor Teri Johnston, who told the Keys Weekly she never expected to run unopposed and is not surprised by Romero’s decision.
“I think you should always run in anticipation of a challenger,” Johnston said. “Our team is ready and it’s been our strategy all along to run an issue-oriented campaign.”
The mayor’s race is nonpartisan, but is closely watched and heatedly campaigned.
Johnston has already raised nearly $51,000 in her campaign war chest, while Romero has some catching up to do.
A native Conch, Romero challenged Johnston for mayor in 2018, when Johnston received 66% of the vote to Romero’s 34%.
Prior to being elected mayor in 2018, Johnston had served eight years as a city commissioner, then took a few years off before re-entering city politics.
Romero speaks at nearly every city commission meeting and regularly questions lawmakers and initiatives. She said she decided to run because of the number of residents who have asked her to do so.
The general election is Nov. 8, but if one mayoral candidate receives 50% plus one vote in the August primary, the race will be determined then.