Hours after the votes were counted in the election of two Bay Harbor Islands council members, a sitting councilwoman who had sought reelection died Tuesday night of complications from lung cancer.
For a year’s worth of meetings and votes, public appearances, and finally, through an election season, Councilwoman Doris Marano privately waged a hard-fought battle against her disease. She’d continued working as a legal assistant and serving on the council in quiet pain, keeping her illness and treatment a secret from her colleagues.
But she experienced a sudden downturn in her health in recent weeks. She was moved to hospice care during the weekend.
On Monday, she formally withdrew from the election. Just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, Marano passed away while surrounded by family.
“She fought to the end,” said Kathleen Kennedy, a close friend who confirmed the news Tuesday night for the Miami Herald. “She showed up until the end.”
Marano had missed only the most recent Town Council meeting and a candidate forum in the past few weeks, prompting concern from members in the community. Officials and residents who were told she’d been hospitalized for pneumonia hoped for a speedy recovery. Many were shocked to learn she had cancer.
She was 62.
Amid the difficult circumstances, voters in the small seaside town elected one incumbent and one newcomer to their Town Council.
With two seats open, attorney and incumbent Council Member Joshua Fuller, 42, won reelection in Tuesday’s vote. Joining him on the dais will be Elizabeth Tricoche, 32, director of client services for a medical billing company. Fuller captured 46 percent of the vote. Tricoche received 42 percent.
Marano’s name appeared on the ballot, but voters were advised that votes cast for her would not count because she had withdrawn. On Tuesday evening, town officials said they were unable to determine how many votes were cast for Marano.
Paul Ruthfield, 77, a financial services professional, was the fourth candidate in the field. He got 12 percent of the vote.
The election drew an 18 percent voter turnout.