By Joshua I. Manning – July 15, 2022
Michelle Oyola McGovern — A Palm Beach County native with a Puerto Rican heritage, McGovern attended local schools and graduated from Florida Atlantic University. She is the wife of Wellington Councilman John McGovern and mother to teenage daughters.
“I will be the first Latina elected to serve on the Palm Beach County Commission, so I am very proud of that,” she said.
McGovern worked for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson for 18 years as his state director and now works in the healthcare industry. She is proud of her service working locally on issues ranging from advocacy in the Glades to her role on the Wellington Education Committee.
“I believe that I have the best experience and connections in this community to serve it,” she said.
McGovern said that her accomplishments have benefited many people across the region.
“The Keely Spinelli grants is one. When I served on the Wellington Education Committee, it was my idea to bring back these education grants that help support Wellington schools,” she said, also noting her work bringing the Butterfly House rape treatment center to Wellington Regional Medical Center. “I helped identify federal funding to get that started.”
McGovern also pointed to her work in the Glades to minimize the impact of FEMA flood maps on insurance rates.
“I went to Washington with local elected officials on behalf of Sen. Nelson,” she said. “I sat across the table from FEMA officials in order to get that changed. My role in each of these were both in my official capacity and in my spare time working in this community to bring about change.”
She believes that affordability in housing and public safety are key issues in this race.
“But I also feel that people are paying attention to women’s reproductive health issues and gun safety,” McGovern said. “While I can’t change those laws, I can do everything I can to support people here in our community, which I am already doing as chair of the Palm Beach County Advisory Commission on Women.”
McGovern has big plans for her work over the next four years on the county commission.
“I feel that there are real challenges ahead of us when it comes to creating more affordable housing opportunities. With that comes real challenges in transportation needs. I hope to bring a voice of reason to that, and I hope to bring successes,” she said. “I will focus on supporting women who make most of the decisions when it comes to their families and the community. Any opportunity I have to help support our women, I am going to do.”
She added that Palm Beach County will see many changes in the coming years.
“I think the biggest change is the influx of people moving here, so we will have to be very mindful in how we manage that in every way, when it comes to housing, transportation and safety,” McGovern said.
She noted that she has more than 50 endorsements in this race, including support from McKinlay, the current county commissioner.
“I am honored for the support I have gotten in this race, which is pretty broad based,” McGovern said. “I am really proud of all of the public service to the community I have done in the past, and I look forward to continuing to serve my community in the future as Palm Beach County’s first Latina commissioner.
McGovern Media Room
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