The results of Tuesday’s runoff election brought in an incumbent and a new face to the Ocala City Council.
Ocala voters elected Jay Musleh to his third full term as city councilman for District 3 on Tuesday. He received 54.91% of the votes, according to Marion County election results.
“It’s a very humbling process, and I’m extremely gratified and thankful to the voters of Ocala,” Musleh said.
Musleh watched the results come in with his family on Tuesday evening.
“Oh, everybody’s happy and relieved,” he said. “I think relieved is the better word. You know, it’s a lot of stress on … my wife and the rest of the family.”
Musleh’s opponent for the position, Ty Schlichter, said he has no future plans to run for office. He is now looking forward to enjoying the holidays alongside his family.
“I just want to thank all the people that came out and supported today and wish Jay the best of luck in the upcoming endeavors and hope he leads the city in a positive direction,” Schlichter said.
The race for District 4 was the long-awaited result of the runoff election since the city’s regular election in September when top vote-winning candidates Kristen Dreyer and Lori Martin Gregory were both shy of the 50.1% majority required to win the seat.
On Tuesday, Ocala voters elected Kristen Dreyer with 52.48% of the votes. She serves as chair of the East Ocala Historic Preservation Advisory Board and worked as a realtor. Dreyer could not be reached for comment before publication.
Wesley Wilcox, Supervisor of Elections for Marion County, said voter turnout exceeded his expectations.
“This 15% is the second highest turnout for the city of Ocala in over a decade,” he said.
However, Wilcox hoped for more voter participation.
“But still, if you look at it glass half empty side, you know, that’s still only about one out of seven voters, or eligible voters, are participating,” he said. “So I would greatly wish we had more participation, but I’m thankful for what we have.”