May 31, 2024 7:00am

Power Poll influencers predict Palm Beach County's next State Attorney and Public Defender

The next State Attorney and Public Defender will be familiar faces in their respective offices, if predictions by Palm Beach influencers come true.

Photo of Joe Capozzi
By Joe Capozzi
Palm Beach, FL Correspondent
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The leadership of Palm Beach County’s criminal justice system is about to undergo an historic transformation, and Palm Beach Power Poll influencers think they have a pretty good idea of how it will unfold when voters go to the polls later this year.

Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County’s State Attorney since 2012, and Carey Haughwout, the county’s public defender since 2001, are not seeking new terms. That means both offices are up for grabs in the same year, a rare and perhaps unprecedented occurrence, as Stet News reported earlier this month.

If predictions by Palm Beach Power Poll influencers come true, Alexcia Cox will replace Aronsberg as State Attorney and Daniel Eisinger will replace Haughwout as Public Defender.

Cox, Aronberg’s deputy chief assistant state attorney, topped all candidates with 54 percent of votes from Power Poll influencers. Her closest competitor was her co-worker Craig Williams, the county’s chief assistant state attorney, who garnered 25 percent.

Five other candidates each garnered 8 percent or less. One candidate, Rolando Silva, dropped out of the race after our Power Poll was set up. Just 4 percent of our influencers voted for Silva, a retired sheriff’s captain.

Cox, who runs the domestic violence unit, would become the county’s first Black and first female state attorney if voters in November cast ballots the way our power poll influencers did.

Eisinger, Haughwout’s hand-picked successor, collected 76 percent from power poll influencers who think he will be the next public defender. He has one challenger, lawyer and former Delray Beach City Commissioner Adam Frankel, who got 24 percent from our influencers.

Because both Eisinger and Frankel are Democrats, the race will be decided in the August primaries.

The poll had a response rate of about 33 percent.

Our May poll wasn’t all politics. We tossed in some sports and culture, too.

With the Florida Panthers driving toward a berth in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals, we asked our influencers to predict whether the Panthers would finally win a crown.

It was a toss up: 38 percent said the Panthers would win the cup, while 38 percent said they would not. (Nearly 25 percent had no opinion.)

The Panthers trailed two games to one in the Eastern Conference Finals when our poll opened Tuesday morning, some 12 hours before Florida beat the New York Rangers to tie the series. Game 5 was set for Thursday night, some six hours after our power poll deadline.

The winner of the best-of-seven series goes to the Stanley Cup Finals to play either the Dallas Stars or the Edmonton Oilers.

The Panthers have made two appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals, first in 1996, losing to the Colorado Avalanche, and again in 2023, losing to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

For our final question, we wondered how many of our influencers attended SunFest, the annual music festival held each first weekend in May on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront. Those results were lopsided, with 82 percent saying they did not attend.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of the most powerful, influential people in U.S. cities. It is not a scientific survey. But because the people responding to the surveys comprise the leadership structure of their cities, the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those in a position to make change. Power Poll is distinctly nonpartisan.

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