It’s out with the old and in with the new in Surfside.
In the first election since the deadly Champlain Towers South condo collapsed last summer, voters gave the boat to their longtime mayor, Charles Burkett, and welcomed a newcomer, 42-year-old Shlomo Danzinger, to lead the sleepy oceanside town.
Burkett, despite his incumbency and proverbial 15 minutes in the international spotlight, placed third in the race.
Danzinger previously ran for a Surfside commission seat in 2020 and lost. This time he netted 499 votes, defeating Burkett (466 votes) and vice mayor Tina Paul (476 votes).
Just who is Surfside’s new leader? Here’s what we know:
Screenshot via Shlomo for Surfside
He’s a Family Man
Danzinger lives in the heart of Surfside with his wife and five children, who moved to Miami from Brooklyn, New York, in 2010 hoping to enrich their “quality of life,” according to his campaign site. His kids, several of whom are elementary-school age, are shown in photos on the site riding bikes and laughing together on a beach.
During his campaign, he vowed to address townwide problems including cut-through traffic, flooding, and pedestrian safety, all of which he says affect his family on a personal level.
Surfside elects town’s first Orthodox Jewish mayor https://t.co/Vqctwtr21H pic.twitter.com/8cJtD37l3y
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) March 16, 2022
He Is an Orthodox Jew
Danzinger will be the Surfside’s first Orthodox Jewish mayor, according to several news reports. Of Surfside’s more than 2,500 Jewish residents, one in three identify themselves as Orthodox.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Danzinger speaks three languages: English, Yiddish, and Hebrew, the last of which he uses with “limited working proficiency.”
Surfside Mayor Burkett, who received national spotlight after CTS collapse, says he will count himself in the company of Winston Churchill, who was ousted from office after WW2. He says he isn’t comparing himself to Churchill. “I’m happy with the determination of the voters.” https://t.co/usAoYyTi5L
— Martin Vassolo (@martindvassolo) March 16, 2022
He Has Yet to Compare Himself to Winston Churchill
In a totally normal reaction to his upset, Burkett told Miami Herald reporter Martin Vassolo last night that he intends to “count himself in the company of Winston Churchill,” the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who was famously ousted from office after World War II .
Burkett clarified that he wasn’t trying to compare himself to Churchill.
“I’m happy with the determination of voters,” he told Vassolo.
He used to work for prison vendor JPay
Danzinger used to work for the controversial prison contractor JPay, which is known for profiting from services it offers on free tablets inside prisons and jails.
According to Danzinger’s LinkedIn, he worked for the Miramar-based company from 2014 to 2019 as its director of user experience, during which time he created a “digital storefront” for corrections facilities and designed apps for the JPay tablets.
He’s a major hottie
Need we say more?