Votes are in for local and state races, as well as proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. The Alachua and Marion County Supervisors of Elections offices have posted results for North Central Florida’s new representatives for the state House of Representatives and Congress.
Alachua County: (129,977 ballots cast/73.04 percent voter turnout)
State Representative District 10: Jerry Lawrence Bullard loses the race with a little over 35 percent of the votes. Republican Elizabeth Porter won with almost 65 percent of votes.
State Representative District 21: Republican Chuck Clemons defeated opponent Marihelen Wheeler. “I’m overwhelmed with emotion,” Clemons said, highlighting the support of his family and volunteers. “But I’m looking forward to the next step, and that’s representing not only the people that voted for me tonight, the 54 percent, but all of the people, and to reach out to the ones that maybe didn’t vote for me and try to win their confidence.”
After the results, Wheeler had one thing to say: “I’m disappointed, but at the same time, I’m not disheartened,” she said. This election was Wheeler’s third time running for office, first in 2012 and second in 2014. Moving forward, she plans to keep working with grassroots organizations, working for “people who are doing the best they can to make a living.” Her main focus will be on protecting Florida rivers, wetlands, and northern Florida.
Sheriff: Democratic incumbent Sadie Darnell retains her post as Alachua County Sheriff with nearly 67 percent of all votes. She defeated Republican Jack Jacobs.
Question 1 on the ballot for Alachua County: The referendum regarding the Renewal of the One Mill Valorem Tax for Schools passed with more than 77 percent of voter support.
“The importance of the one mill is that we can continue to offer every child in this county a well-rounded education which includes the arts. it also gives us the chance to have the technology that’s up-to-date, that’s refreshed,” Robert Hyatt, Alachua County School Board Member said Tuesday night.
Question 2 on the ballot for Alachua County: The Wild Spaces Public Places referendum would add an additional one-half percent sales tax in order to potentially create, improve and maintain more parks and bike paths, including acquiring and improving lands to protect drinking water and wildlife habitat. The measure passed with just over 60 percent of the votes.
Marion County: (176,951 ballots cast/76.66 percent voter turnout)
Congressional Representative District 2: Republican Neal Dunn takes over 64 percent of votes, defeating Democrat Walter Dartland.
Congressional Representative District 11: Republican Daniel Webster takes over 61 percent of votes, beating his Democratic candidate, Dave Koller.
State Representative District 23: Republican Stan McClain takes over 62 percent of votes over Democrat Rick Perry.
Sheriff: Republican Billy Woods takes over 62 percent of the votes over Democrat Dennis McFatten.
County Commissioner District 1: Republican David Moore takes over 70 percent of the votes over no-party candidate John Townsend.
Federal Races, Other State Races And Amendments To The Florida State Constitution
Florida U.S. Senate Seat: Incumbent Marco Rubio defeats Democrat Patrick Murphy by taking home over 51 percent of votes. “While we hoped for a different result, the people of Florida have spoken and I respect their choice,” Murphy said in a prepared statement. “I congratulate Senator Rubio on his victory and on the incredible honor of representing this state again in the U.S. Senate. Floridians are counting on him to fight for them, and he has my support in that fight.”
Congressional Representative District 3: Incumbent Ted Yoho won over Democrat Ken McGurn with over 58 percent of votes.
Red and white balloons marked Yoho’s side of The Social in Gainesville’s midtown Tuesday night, while District 21 State House Democrat candidate Mark Clemons’ side of the rooftop bar was marked with blue and white balloons.
After the results were read, the crowd chanted: “Ted! Yoho!” Yoho credited his interns for waking up at 2 a.m. to set up campaign signs all over the district. He pulled out his pocket constitution. The values in the constitution aren’t Republican or Democrat values, but American values, he said.
Yoho plans to find out what city and county needs are, and “accommodate them,” and provide “needed infrastructures that will invite jobs in.” Yoho made a promise to the residents in his district.
Yoho’s opponent, McGurn, reflected on his first campaign running for office. He said he likely will not run again, but he enjoyed reaching out to the community. “I think we brought to light some of the problems in the area,” McGurn said, citing his stance on helping veterans and increasing job opportunities for folks in rural areas. “I love talking to the people; I had a great time,” he said.
State Senator District 8: Republican Keith Perry wins the senate seat over Democrat Rod Smith, by taking home close to 53 percent of the votes, compared to Smith’s 47 percent. “Hard work pays off, it paid off this campaign, and it’s a huge team effort, but I got a great staff,” Perry said. “I told everyone that Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., we take a breath.”
After hearing the election results, Smith had a message for young people about the election: “From the bottom of my heart: It is always worth the fight.”
Amendment 1: The Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding solar Energy Choice amendment failed to pass, with just over 50 percent of voters approving the measure, and over 49 percent rejecting it.
Amendment 2: More than 71 percent of Florida voters approve the Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions amendment, when only 60% approval was needed for it to pass.
Amendment 3: Tax Exemption For Totally and Permanently Disabled First Responders passed.With more than 8 million votes counted statewide, the measure had support from more than 83 percent of voters
Amendment 5: The Homestead Tax Exemption for Certain Senior, Low-Income, and Long-Term Residents; Determination of Just Value amendment also passed. It is aimed at allowing low-income seniors to continue receiving an additional homestead tax exemption when their property values rise above $250,000. It was being backed by about 78 percent of voters.
You can find more election results here.