Voters in northwest Florida turned out in near-record numbers Tuesday, to fill offices from the grassroots, to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
“As I look out there, I see all kinds of different people; Republicans, Democrats, black, white, everything. What I see is we are Pensacolians,” said Grover Robinson, who will become Pensacola’s second “strong mayor” when he’s sworn in later this month.
The Escambia County Commissioner defeated Pensacola City Councilman Brian Spencer 56-44 percent in the non-partisan race. Robinson succeeds Ashton Hayward, who decided not to seek a third term.
“I am so excited to see what this community can do if we work together,” Robinson said. “If we do the same thing we did in this campaign, we can be so much more. This was an incredible heavy lift; this has been amazing.”
In two other non-partisan votes, Ann Hill will replace Spencer in the City Council’s District-6, collecting 59 percent of the vote against Butch Hansen. Jared Moore is the new Councilman from District-4, defeating Chris Phillips 63-37 percent.
Republican Doug Underhill wins a second term on the Escambia County Commission, 56-44 percent over Democrat Scott Trotter.
Lois Benson holds onto her District-2 seat on the Emerald Coast Utilities Commission; the Republican garnering 63 percent of the vote over Democrat Gloria Horning.
Two seats were up for grabs on the Escambia County School Board. Paul Fetsko is elected from District-2, winning 55-45 percent over Ray Guillory; and Laura Edler wins in District-4 56-44 percent over Larry Williams Sr.
In the statewide races, Escambia Countians went for an all-Republican lineup, as expected. They favored Ron DeSantis as Governor; Rick Scott for U.S. Senate, Ashley Moody for Attorney General, Jimmy Patronis to remain as Chief Financial Officer, and Matt Caldwell for Agriculture Commissioner.
Matt Gaetz is being returned to Congress for a second term out of House District-1. Gaetz defeated pediatrician Jennifer Zimmerman with 67 percent of the vote.
And two seats on the Century Town Council were filled Tuesday, by Benjamin Boutwell and James Smith Jr.
Tuesday’s election results are unofficial; they’ll be confirmed later this week by the Escambia County Canvassing Board.