Political newcomer Sandy Quinn, Jr. secured the District 4 seat on the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday while the District 2 seat on the Gulf County School Board remains in play.
Quinn beat incumbent Commissioner Tan Smiley, seeking a second term, in the BOCC District 4 race, opening a small lead in early voting which he maintained throughout the night.
Tuesday’s primary in District 4 was universal, meaning that both candidates were from the same party, Democratic, and all voters could cast ballots as the primary decided the seat.
Quinn received 353 votes, or 58 percent, while Tan Smiley received 258 votes and 42 percent.
“I’m excited and I feel blessed and thankful,” Quinn said. “People came out and supported and they rallied behind me. They wanted to see a change.
“A big thank you to Tan Smiley for running a clean race. Thank you to the citizens of Gulf County.”
The race to succeed George Cox in the District 2 school board race will be subject to a recount.
Cox, announced his retirement this year after more than 50 years serving the public schools.
James Taunton charged to a lead in early voting but Brooke Wooten closed the gap before the night was over which each candidate taking 50 percent of the vote.
The two were separated by just two votes with Wooten receiving 276 to Taunton’s 274.
According to Supervisor of Elections John Hanlon, Wooten and Taunton face an automatic recount due having less than a 5 percent difference.
The recount would take place in 3-5 days from the election.
In the Republican primary for the District 2 BOCC seat Tom Semmes received 70 percent of the vote while Vicki Adkison Armstrong received 30 percent.
Semmes will now face incumbent Commissioner Ward McDaniel, the Democrat, and former commissioner Billy Traylor, running with no party affiliation in the November general election.
In a regional race, Circuit Judge Jim Fenson was re-electd to the 14th Judicial Circuit bench; he Gulf County he received 61 percent of the vote to Shalene Grover’s 27 percent and Gerard M. Virga, Jr.’s 12 percent.
In statewide race decided Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott received 88 percent of the county vote in the GOP primary with Yinka Abosede Adeshina’s taking 2 percent and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder 10 percent.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist received 54 percent of the county Democratic vote for governor while Nan H. Rich took 46 percent.
George Sheldon brought in 66 percent of the local votes for the Attorney General in the Democratic primary while Perry E. Thurston received 34 percent.