County Commission election debate: two no shows

Wednesday’s debate at a luncheon meeting of the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County had a full house, but featured some notable empty chairs nevertheless.

The event was to feature three Palm Beach County Commission races but only one candidate appeared in two of the three, Forum Club President Rebel Cook said.

District 1 incumbent Hal Valeche, Republican, and his Democratic opponent, Tony Bennett, were on hand.

But Taniel Shant, a GOP challenger to Mayor and District 5 Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, did not respond to the Forum Club’s invitation.

Neither did no-party-affiliation candidate Sean C. Hogan, who will face State Rep. Dave Kerner for District 3.

Also on hand Wednesday: Mack Bernard, who will represent District 7 after defeating Commissioner Priscilla Taylor and a pair of other candidates on August 30.

The debate, at the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse in West Palm Beach, was moderated by Randy Schultz, former editorial page editor of The Palm Beach Post.