PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA — On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Michael Barnett, Palm Beach County’s Republican Party chairman, to fill Dave Kerner’s spot on the county's board of commissioners. The commission district includes parts of Boynton Beach and Lake Worth Beach.
Barnett’s appointment now gives Republicans four of the seven seats on the Palm Beach County Commission after flipping two during the general election. Barnett – endorsed by former President Trump and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio – was re-elected as chairman of the county's Republican Party with 56 percent of the vote.
“Governor DeSantis made a great choice in selecting Michael Barnett to serve as Palm Beach County Commissioner for District 3,” Helen Aguirre Ferre, Executive Director, Republican Party of Florida, told The Florida Standard.
“Having worked with Michael for two election cycles, I can attest to his great leadership skills as chairman of the Palm Beach County GOP. Palm Beach flipped red because of Gov. DeSantis’ impressive accomplishments and Barnett’s ability to work at the grassroots. Michael Barnett’s understanding of the community and relationships with residents will serve his constituents well,” Ferre added.
Trump wrote in favor of Barnett’s re-election to the party leadership in a letter dated Nov. 12, 2022, calling him a “friend” who was a delegate for him in 2016 and 2020 and a member of the Florida Electoral College in 2016 who cast his vote for Trump.
Barnett said that he will remain chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, completing his term through the 2024 presidential election. He said his role on the county commission does not conflict with his political position.
On Thursday afternoon, Barnett received a call from Governor DeSantis offering him the position, which he said is a huge weight he wants to carry with the utmost respect.
“I'm very grateful to Gov. DeSantis,” Barnett said Thursday evening. “It’s exciting, overwhelming, humbling. I just want to do the very best job I can in this role.”