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Chamber of Commerce president wins North Miami Beach’s special mayoral election

North Miami Beach voters elected Evan Scott Piper their new mayor, filling the seat vacated when Anthony DeFillipo was removed from office after being charged with three counts of voter fraud.

Piper, 59, a businessman and North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce president, beat former City Commissioner Paule Villard, 63, with 57% of the vote, according to preliminary results listed on the Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Election’s results page Tuesday evening.

Turnout in the city of about 45,000 was low with only 3,553 ballots cast, for a voter turnout percentage of 16.61%. There are 21,391 registered voters.

Piper, a professional speaker, was on the city’s planning and zoning board for 25 years and served as chairman. He is president of the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to help bring North Miami Beach back to its former luster and possibly to a much higher level,” Piper told the Miami Herald on Wednesday morning.

Piper outlined a campaign that focused on eliminating wasteful spending and touted his experience working with diverse groups. “I will make sure that the city manager immediately puts into place measures and procedures to control and justify city spending,” he previously told the Herald.

In his first 100 days, Piper said his focus will be uniting the commissioners so they can do city business. “We’ve got to fix that right away, and fortunately, I have good relationships with all the sitting commissioners,” he said, adding he’d like to see upgrades to Washington Park be prioritized.

Villard’s loss comes a year after she was voted out of her seat in a runoff race against longtime Commissioner Jay Chernoff.

Tuesday night’s results replace DeFillipo, who was removed from his post in May after he was charged with three counts of voting outside his district.