Bradbury Wins in Pinellas Park; Katica Reelected in Bellair
By ANNE LINDBERG, TB Reporter
There were exceptions, but, for the most part, voters went with the familiar in Tuesday’s municipal elections in Pinellas County.
PINELLAS COUNTY – For the most part, voters were good to incumbents in the 12 municipalities that went to the polls Tuesday (March 13).
While many of the victories were decisive and lopsided with one candidate scoring decisive, landslide victories, there were exceptions, such as the race for the District 1 seat on the Madeir Beach City Commission where incumbent Terry Lister (595 votes) is a mere four votes behind challenger Deby Weinstein (599 votes). In the race for the District 2 seat on the Madeira Beach commission, incumbent Nancy Hodges, with 55 percent of the vote, held off challenger Eric Breslin, who polled about 45 percent of the vote. All results are unofficial.
Belleair Beach, where incumbents lost, had a close election with six candidates vying for four seats on the council. Nick Pavouris pulled in 300 votes and was followed by Glenn Gunn and Jody Shirley who each got 263 votes, then Marv Behm with 259 votes. Trailing were the two incumbents, Rob Baldwin with 245 votes and Julie “Jewels” Chandler with 232 votes.
But for the most part, the votes were decisive and favored incumbents. The outcome in the four cities that had mayoral elections were an example.
Sandy Bradbury was elected in Pinellas Park after a heated race against challenger Donna Saxer, a retired Pinellas Park police officer. Bradbury defeated Saxer with about 56 percent of the vote, or 3,057 votes to Saxer’s 2,372. Belleair’s Gary Katica romped to an easy victory over challenger Spencer Connerat with a landslide 83 percent of the vote or 831 votes to 174.
In the two cities that had no incumbent running for mayor, voters chose familiar faces, moving incumbent council or commission members up to the top seat.
In Indian Rocks Beach, Joanne “Cookie” Kennedy won a landslide victory over opponent Donald House Jr. with about 71 percent of the vote, or 859 to 348 votes. In Treasure Island, Larry Lunn defeated Melinda “Mel” Lenehan with about 55 percent of the vote, or 1,128 to 938.
The trend was similar for the council and commission races. In Clearwater, for example, Hoyt Hamilton blew away challenger John Funk with about 79 percent of the vote, or 9,537 to 2,609. Gulfport’s Dan Liedtke sailed to an easy victory over Brice A. Plesser, 1,252 to 636. In Kenneth City, council members Barbara Roberts and Carl Troup held their seats against a challenge from former council member Ron Sneed.
Tom Dorgan and David Joseph Will retained their seats on the Redington Beach commission by defeating Laura Barnett.
But there were exceptions.
In Safety Harbor, incumbents Cliff Merz (73 percent) and Andy Zodrow (55 percent) defeated challenges from Spencer Bell (27 percent) and Damon Lister (45 percent). But incumbent Scott Long (49 percent) fell to challenger Nancy J. Besore (51 percent). And the Treasure Island District 4 race saw challenger Heidi Horak (70 percent) win in a landslide over incumbent Ken Keys (30 percent).
For complete results, go to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections at votepinellas.com.
Photo shows Pinellas Park Mayor Sandy Bradbury, left, and Belleair Mayor Gary Katica.
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