With 100% of precincts reporting, Early Voting ballots completed, and 99% of Mail-in Ballots reported, The Seminole Source is declaring winners and reporting the numbers as of 8:51pm Tuesday night, August 18, 2020.
Tonight’s local election primary results in Seminole County were memorable, and that alone is a remarkable statement.
Typically, primaries are low turnout snore-fests that do little more than solidify the party establishment’s favorite in route to the general election. But today we saw a few surprises that went well beyond the primary colors most are used to seeing. And these candidates can definitely be proud of the races they have run.
US Representative in Congress, District 7
The current US Representative for District 7, Democratic incumbent, Stephanie Murphy (D), will likely be facing off with Republican Leo Valentin (R) who looks to have won with 19,062 of the votes tonight and at 38.65%. But it’s a close call, as Republicans Richard Goble was only narrowly behind Valentin with 18,432 votes and 37.37%, and Yukong Zhao came in with 11,823 votes (23.97%). William R. Garlington (NPA), the candidate noted as “No Party Affiliation”, will join Murphy (D) and Valentin (R), to run on November 3 in the General Election.
U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy released the following statement after officially securing the Democratic nomination to represent Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Murphy, who was first elected in 2016, enters the race with a commanding fundraising lead and a solid record of bipartisan results. She is consistently rated as one of the most effective and bipartisan Members of Congress.
“While folks in Washington and Tallahassee have been focused on pointing blame and scoring political points, I’ve worked with both parties to get results for Central Florida, to keep us safe, and to get our economy going again,” said Murphy. “I’m running to focus on jobs, security, and opportunity for every Florida family and to work in a bipartisan way to get our nation through this crisis.
“My Republican opponent spent the primary pledging his allegiance to President Trump, attacking women’s rights, and pushing to repeal our health care in the midst of a global pandemic. We need leaders who will put people over politics and pledge their allegiance to the Constitution – not a president.
“I look forward to an honest and vigorous campaign.”
State Senator, District 9
With Senator David Simmons (R) not running for reelection, the field opened to five Democratic candidates vying for the seat against the one Republican candidate, Jason Brodeur (R) and No Party Affiliation candidate Jestine Iannotti (NPA). But the voters saw it clearly, with Democratic candidate Patricia Sigman (D) winning the Primary handily with 16,196 votes (50%), followed by Alexis Carter at 5,644 (17.5%), a remarkable tie between Rick Ashby and Guerdy Remy with both at 4,192 votes (13%), followed by H. Alexander Duncan at 2,124 votes (6.57%). Brodeur (R), Sigman (D) and Iannotti (NPA) will meet to compete at the General Election in November.
Seminole County Tax Collector
It seemed as if all of Seminole County and Central Florida, had their eyes on the Seminole County Tax Collector race after contentious incumbent, Republican Joel Greenberg resigned his seat amidst a federal investigation and indictment. This opening drove the candidates to greater hopes of taking over and restoring integrity and transparency back to the office, but Republican J.R. Kroll (R) cleared the bar with 17,206 votes (55.8%), settling the matter of who will go up against Democrat candidate Lynn Moira Dictor (D) in the November 3 election. Republican Brian Beute won a respectable 13,629 votes with 44.2%.
“I want to thank the Republican voters of Seminole County for choosing me as their candidate for the November election,” said J.R. Kroll. “I am dedicated to bring fiscal responsibility and transparency to the office. I am honored to be chosen as the Republican candidate.”
“We, on Team Moira, are laser- focused on the general election, when Seminole County will finally elect a Tax Collector who is transparent, ethical, and accountable,”said Dictor. “It’s time to make a change and make history on November 3rd!”
Seminole County Commission, District 1
The Seminole County Primary race for Commission, District 1 was to determine which Republican candidate would take on the Democrat Katrina Shadix in the November general election: Bob Dallari (R) or Current Longwood Mayor, Matt Morgan (R)? The voters made it significantly clear, with Dallari winning it at 60.1% with his 21,063 votes, followed by Morgan with 13,988 votes, at 39.9%. Dallari (R) and Shadix (D) will compete in the November 3 Election.
Seminole County Commission, District 3
Lee Constantine (R), wins stunningly against Ben Paris (R)! Constantine holds his seat for now, raking in 23,195 votes (66.3%) compared to Commissioner and Former Mayor of Longwood Ben Paris with 11,784 votes (33.69%). Now the challenge is up to Democratic candidate Kim Buchheit (D) to see if she can be the one to unseat Constantine (R) in the November General Election.
Seminole County Commission, District 5
Since Brenda Carey (R) decided not to run for another term as County Commissioner, District 5, five candidates stepped in for consideration, two of which were in the Primary today: Democrats Pernell Bush (D) and Mike Clelland (D). Bush established himself as the undisputable lead with 22,331 votes (70.6%), and Clelland trailing with 9,302 votes (29.4%). Democratic candidate Bush (D) will face off with Republican Andria Herr (R), Libertarian Andre Klass (L), and Write-in Candidate Blaize McMonagle (WIC) in the November 3 Election.
“The strong voter turnout in our local elections is reflective of the citizens’ keen awareness of the issues and their commitment to remaining involved,” said Andre Klass, Libertarian party candidate for Seminole County Commission, District 5. “The local politics are truly the most impactful as it relates to our quality of life, hence why these items of importance relating to the here and now in our hometown communities are my main focus, which drove me to run for office. Our residents’ desire for change was a driving factor in becoming the very first candidate in my county to qualify by petition in this year’s election cycle, and I remain excited for what’s in store as we approach the general in November.”
School Board Member, District 3
Congratulations go to incumbent Abby Sanchez who sailed through the Primary as the favorite, winning a whopping 47,399 votes (63.25%) over newcomer and community leader Veronica King at 27,544 votes (36.75%). It’s doubtful this is the last we’ll see of King, as she shares her thoughts below.
“I am very proud to have been a part of an amazing democratic process as a first-time running candidate for an elected position,” said King. “I believe in democracy and know that the voters will make an informed decision based on their individual convictions. Whether a favorable outcome or not, the voters would have voted, spoken, and chosen their next Seminole County School Board Member representing District 3. If given the opportunity, I am ready to serve with a strong voice for students, teachers, staff, and with a heartbeat for parents.”
City of Casselberry
Mayor City Commissioner Seat 5: David Henson wins with 2,485 votes (59.5%), followed by Sharon LaCrosse with 1,692 votes (40.5%).
City Commissioner Seat 4 had three candidates vying for the seat, and it was a close race. Bill Hufford wins the clear vote, receiving 1,741 votes (41%), with Chad Albritton coming in second at 1,389 votes (32.8%), and Dee Smith at 1,103 votes (26%).
City of Sanford
City Commission District 3 was on the ballot with two candidates running. Winner Patrick Austin took in 972 votes (55.13%), trailed by Nancy Groves with 791 votes (44.87%).
City Commission District 4 will see incumbent Patrick Mahaney continuing his leadership* having received the majority of votes with 975 (66.01%) to Cobbin McGee’s 502 votes (33.99%).
TRUST IN THE VOTING EQUIPMENT
Every year the Supervisor of Elections staff is required to test the voting machines that will count the votes of Seminole County voters for about 80 precincts across Central Florida for 32 unique races between the Primary of August and General Election in November. This test is required by a Florida Statute (101.5612, section 3 and 4).
The statute requires that a small sample of voting equipment and all vote-by-mail equipment be publicly tested using a group of ballot cards marked, or voted, with a pre-audited pattern. The pattern must include a pre-determined number of valid votes for each candidate and each measure. Each group of ballots must include a blank (unmarked) as well as an over-voted ballot.
The election staff were no doubt ready for any issue, but Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson probably took a moment to still pray the ‘election supervisor prayer’: “We don’t care who wins, we just want them to win big.”
And now…76 days and counting.
* Correction was made 08-20-2020 from “new representative” Patrick Mahaney to “incumbent… continuing his leadership”