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Few Surprises In Primary Election Results

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Sandra Averhart
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The ballots have been counted and the unofficial results have been announced in Tuesday’s Primary Election in Florida.

Statewide, Amendment 4 won approval with 73 percent of voters in favor of it. The measure would authorize the Legislature to exempt property tax on solar equipment.

In the race for U.S. Senate in Florida, incumbent Marco Rubio easily defeated Carlos Beruff in the Republican Primary. Patrick Murphy won the Democratic Primary over top challengers Alan Grayson and Pam Keith. Paul Stanton won the Libertarian Party Primary.

In Northwest Florida, Matt Gaetz defeated six challengers in Tuesday’s Primary Election to win the Republican nomination for U.S. House of Representatives District 1.  The seat was open due to incumbent Jeff Miller’s decision not to seek reelection. Gaetz garnered 36 percent of the vote. Greg Evers and Chris Dosev finished second and third, respectively, with 22 percent and 21 percent of the vote. He moves on to the November General Election against Democrat Steven Specht.

After a contentious campaign, Doug Broxson defeated Mike Hill in the race for Florida State Senate District 1. Broxson won 57 percent of the vote compared to 43 percent for Hill. Both candidates are vacating seats in the Florida House of Representatives.

The State House District 3 seat was won handily by Jayer Williamson over J. Huston Walters. This was a universal race meaning Williamson will take over the office.

Former Mayor Mel Ponder won the race for Florida House District 4, which covers Okaloosa County. Ponder won 29 percent of the vote in a close Republican Primary involving four other candidates. Jonathan Tallman was second with 24 percent voter support. Officially, Ponder moves on to the November ballot against Write-in candidate Christopher Schwantz, although Schwantz has indicated that he entered the race just to close the primary to Republican voters and has done no fundraising during the campaign.

In Escambia County, incumbent David Morgan defeated three challengers, including former Sheriff Ron McNesby in the Republican Primary for Sheriff.

Steven Barry was re-elected to Escambia County Commission District 5 in a universal primary against fellow Republican Dannie Smillie. In the District 1 Escambia Commission race, Republican Jeff Bergosh won the primary, and will face Democrat Audra Carter in November.

Other Primary Results in Escambia County:

Tax Collector: Scott Lunsford

School Board District 1: Kevin Adams

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority District 1: Vicki Campbell

Emerald Coast Utilities Authority District 5: Larry Walker

Mayor Town of Century: *There will be a November runoff between Henry Hawkins-(38%) and incumbent Freddie McCall (34%)

In Santa Rosa County, it was a mixed bag for the proposed half-cent Local Option Sales Taxes. The half penny for infrastructure won nearly 60 percent voter approval.  It was a closer margin for courthouse tax, which was failed yet again. It was voted done 51 percent to 49 percent, a difference of just 819 votes.  

Other Primary Results in Santa Rosa County:

Sheriff: Bob Johnson

County Commission District 1: Sam Parker

County Commission District 3: Don Salter

Tax Collector: Stan Collie Nichols

School Board District 2: Clifton Hinote

Okaloosa County Primary Results:

Sheriff: Larry Ashley - Universal

Superintendent of Schools: Mary Beth Jackson – Universal

Property Appraiser: Mark Busbee

County Commission District 1: Graham Fountain

School Board District 2: Dewey Destin

School Board District 4: Tim Bryant

Sandra Averhart has been News Director at WUWF since 1996. Her first job in broadcasting was with (then) Pensacola radio station WOWW107-FM, where she worked 11 years. Sandra, who is a native of Pensacola, earned her B.S. in Communication from Florida State University.