Rich Walker
Rich Walker campaign photo.

By Jill Fox

Residents in Parkland have chosen their new mayor — by an extremely close margin of about 1,000 votes.

Commissioner Rich Walker won the mayoral race by 52 percent of the votes over Commissioner Stacy Kagan.

“First, I want to make sure the residents understand that I appreciate everything Stacy has done for the community,” said Walker.

The two city officials have gone head-to-head for the two-year nonpartisan term since Mayor Christine Hunschofsky announced her bid for House Seat 96.

At the mayor’s last commission meeting, Walker told Hunschofsky she was one of the reasons he got involved in city politics.

Elected to the District 2 commission seat in 2018, he and his wife, Catherine, live in Parkland Isles with their five children: Hayes, 6, Drake, 9, Scott, 12, Steffy James, 14, and Delaney, 16.  They all attend Broward County Public Schools.

Walker wants his proven entrepreneurial record to be an asset to the community. Besides owning Bergen Sign Company, he also owns American Beverage Technologies, a servicer for water filtration systems.

He plans to prioritize safety and security, uphold a high level of service and infrastructure, and build on the continuous partnership with the dedicated mental health organizations in the community.

“I’ve made some promises, and I want to get to work on solving those problems, like in Pine Tree Estates and with the small businesses that need some help,” he said.

The past few months of the mayoral race have been contentious, with incidents damaging to both parties. In September, a resident accused Kagan of defrauding her insurance company and paying little property taxes.

Social media posts snubbing each candidate continued for weeks, causing Walker to post a statement about it.

“It was a little contentious, and that’s not anything I want,” he said. “We are one Parkland — one community.”

Walker celebrated his victory with his family at Malbec Grill. He said the owners are friends, and he was glad to support a local business.

Commissioner Kagan called to congratulate him and Catherine, and he thinks all-in-all, they both want the community to succeed.

“It was a close election, and I’m obviously happy with the outcome and looking forward to getting to work,” he said.

Walker understands he has some big shoes to fill with Mayor Hunschofsky stepping down.

“It’s going to be tough to follow in her footsteps, but I will do my best.”

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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