Republicans keep U.S. Congressional House seat
CLEARWATER — Incumbent Bill Jonson and returning councilman Hoyt Hamilton defeated challengers in Tuesday's municipal election in Clearwater.
"I wonder if the Pinellas County Democrats think the money they gave to my opponent was well spent," Hamilton said Wednesday morning while traversing the city picking up his campaign signs.
“It turned out as I expected. Voters saw through the huge difference in my experience.”
The Pinellas County Democratic Executive Committee last month contributed $10,000 to Hamilton's challenger, Jon-Paul Rosa.
Hamilton, who served on the city council from 1999-2006, came out on top for Seat 5 with 14,044 votes (63 percent) to Rosa's with 8,114 votes (36 percent). They were vying for a seat currently held by term-limited Vice Mayor Paul Gibson.
In a tight race, Seat 4 incumbent Jonson received 9,612 votes (43 percent). He edged out his biggest challenger David Allbritton by 314 votes. Allbritton garnered 9,298 votes (42 percent). Jonson's second challenger, Konrad McCree Jr., took in 3,346 votes — 6,266 votes less than Jonson.
A total of 22,256 voted in the race for Seat 4 and 22,158 for Seat 5. Clearwater voters had returned 57 percent of 28,298 mail ballots requested as of March 10. Another 976 took advantage of early voting.
David Jolly takes District 13 election
As reported in the St. Petersburg Tribune, Republican David Jolly survived a fierce and contentious campaign to capture the District 13 Congressional seat in Pinellas County, then vowed to work hard to build consensus.
“Tonight is not about claiming victory,” Jolly told supporters between blaring country tunes in his victory speech at the Sheraton Sand Key resort in Clearwater. “Tonight is about committing to serve.”
Jolly, a lobbyist who began the race as a presumptive underdog, defeated Democrat Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby to win the seat and replace his former boss, C.W. Bill Young, who held it for 43 years until his death in October created the need for the special election.
Jolly had 48.4 percent of the vote, Sink, the former Florida Chief Financial Officer, got 46.6 percent, and Overby got 4.8 percent. Sink struck an early lead as the mail and early voting ballots results were posted. But as precinct returns came in, Jolly gained on Sink, eventually surpassing her.
Other municipal election winners
Voters in nearby communities also elected council and commission members Tuesday. Here are the results:
Belleair Bluffs: Joe Barkley and Taylour Shimkus defeated George Lawton for two city commission seats.
Indian Shores: Michael Petruccelli and Patrick Soranno defeated Diantha Schear for two council seats.K
Safety Harbor: Andy Steingold defeated incumbent Joe Ayoub and Nancy J. Besore for mayor. Andy Zodrow defeated Dean Harmeson and Carlos Diaz defeated Ray R. Irvin for commission seats.