Tax collector candidate Galvan drops out of race

Democratic candidate Aileen Galvan announced on June 1 that she’d be dropping out of the race for Monroe County Tax Collector. That currently leaves Republican Sam Steele as the lone candidate in the race. CONTRIBUTED

A Monroe County tax collector race is contested no more, at least for the time being, after Democratic candidate Aileen Galvan announced an end to her campaign.

In a statement on June 1 via Facebook, Galvan said she’ll support Republican Sam Steele as the county’s next tax collector. She also said she’ll continue to work at the tax collector’s office where she serves as director of operations. 

Galvan is Key West-born and -raised, and has worked in the tax collector’s office since 1993. She announced her run during the summer 2019 in a bid to replace Danise “DeeDee” Henriquez, who’s running for county commission seat 1 against Craig Cates. 

“It’s been such a pleasure going up and down the Keys, and meeting so many amazing people in our community,” her statement said. “It’s been a very humbling experience and so grateful for all the support along the way.

“Words can’t express how grateful I am for all of your support throughout this entire process and believing in me,” she continued. “I would like to thank my family, friends, and all of my supporters, for your continued support on the campaign trail.”

The announcement leaves Steele as the lone candidate in the race. There’s still time, however, for potential candidates to file and run for tax collector, but the June 12 deadline is near.

Steele serves as tax manager within the tax collector’s office. He kicked off his campaign in August 2019, and while he currently isn’t opposed, Steele said he can’t let his guard down.

“Anybody who would jump in is going to be behind the eight ball right now. They’d have to pay the close to $7,000 fee because the petition deadline has passed. To campaign during COVID-19 pandemic, it’s tough, but I have to get out there and meet all the voters and residents and build relationships. It’s not going to stop.”

Steele, who works with Galvan in the tax collector’s office, said he appreciates that she ran a clean and respectful campaign. 

“She does have 26 years of knowledge in the office, and that’s invaluable. I’m happy to know she’s going to stay and work,” he said. “We work great as a team. It’s all about unity in the office and that we’re stronger together.”

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Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family (he's expecting a little boy in October).