Romero, a Key West self-styled government watchdog who lost to Mayor Craig Cates in the 2011 election is making a second attempt to oust him form office.
A Conch and retired IBM executive, Romero is seeking a one-year term since Key West is changing its election to coincide with statewide contest.
Romero speaks during public comment periods at almost every City Commission meeting, typically questioning leaders over budgets and costs.
She is on the opposite side of Cates on nearly every key issue on the island. She opposes building a 24-hour homeless shelter, saying the city is only legally obligated to provide temporary shelter. Nonprofits should deliver homeless services, not the city, Romero said.
Romero said she voted against the referendum seeking an Army Corps of Engineers study on the impacts of channel-dredging but as an elected official would listen to both sides if the issue comes before the City Commission.
She is against turning the Glynn Archer School building into a grand city hall, a project Cates has championed. It should remain a school, Romero said, and she recently questioned whether the School Board shouldn't have been bound to first offer the space to charter schools rather than hand it over to the city.
In early 2011, she was among the most vocal critics of the School District's construction of the new Horace O'Bryant School, whose tiltwalls crashed through the neighborhood's height restriction of 25 feet, standing 64 feet from the crown of the road. Romero led a movement that demanded the school chop down the walls to 25 feet, per neighborhood rules. School Board members rejected the idea.
Mayor Craig Cates is seeking a third term in office, saying he will continue to try to run the city like a business.
After retiring from owning the Napa Auto Parts store in New Town, Cates says he is a full-time mayor for Key West and that his leadership has paid off handsomely.
"We've had 36 consecutive months of increased tourism," Cates said to supporters earlier this year at his campaign kick-off party. "Taxes are lower than the county. Not many cities can say they're lower than their counties."
Cates, 60, considers his accomplishments to include: Ending four years of police officers and firefighters working without a contract with a negotiated deal last year; persuading the School Board to hand over the Glynn Archer School for renovation as the future City Hall; and addressing the island's homeless issue.
Last year, Cates pressed for tougher laws to limit panhandling and sleeping in public in an effort to end vagrancy while promoting the creation of a 24-hour care center that would provide social services in an effort to help homeless men and women find stable housing.
Cates believes such a shelter would cut down on the millions spent on jailing the homeless and health care costs. The City Commission passed a resolution 5-2 in December supporting a 24-hour shelter on city-owned property to replace the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) on Stock Island.
"It's social and it's about mental illness," Cates has said of the reasons people become homeless. "We've done all we can with laws. Now we need a 24-hour homeless shelter to give help to the ones who want help."
Cates is married to Cheryl Cates and the couple has three daughters.
Cates is a member of the Greater Key West Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Committee, Military Affairs Committee, Key West Association of Realtor, Sunrise Rotary, Elks Club, Moose Club, and the Southernmost Car Club.