ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Local governments in three Bay-area counties held elections on Tuesday.
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- Election Day in 3 Bay area counties
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Residents in Pinellas, Polk and Manatee decided on a variety of races.
In Pinellas County, St. Petersburg voters were called upon to vote for candidates to fill four of city's eight city council seats.
In those races, Robert Blackmon (District 1), Ed Montanari (District 3), and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman (District 7) all held sizable leads shortly after the polls closed. The race for the District 5 seat between Deborah Figgs-Sanders and Trenia L. Cox was much closer, with Figgs-Sanders leading by less than 500 votes with over 32,000 votes cast.
The city council races were city-wide.
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There were also two St. Petersburg charter amendments and a referendum on the ballot. Voters voted "Yes" on all three by wide margins.
In the City of Seminole, Leslie Waters collected 66 percent of the votes cast for mayor, winning over Darren Clark. The race for the city's City Council was much closer, with candidate Jim Olliver collecting 36.99 percent of votes cast to top fellow candidates Thomas M. 'Thom' Barnhorn (32.87 percent) and Kelly Wissing (30.14 percent). The top two candidates win seats on the Council.
As in St. Petersburg, Seminole voters overwhelmingly approved all four amendments to the city's charter.
In Polk County, voters in Lakeland chose two commissioners and vote on three charter amendments. Other races took place in Auburndale, Winter Haven and Fort Meade.
In Auburndale, Jack R. Myers defeated two other contenders to claim City Commissioner Seat #4, claiming almost 60 percent of votes cast.
In Winter Haven, William J. Twyford claimed 31.89 percent of votes cast, coming out ahead of a crowded field of contenders to win City Commissioner Seat #1. No other contender claimed more than 20 percent of the vote. The race will go to a runoff since nobody got 50 percent of the vote.
In Fort Meade, voters were asked to vote on two charter amendments both having to do with how the city fills City Commission vacancies. Both votes were relatively close — voters approved Amendment 1, Section 6 by 54.69 percent of votes cast.
However, voters said "no" to Amendment 2, Section 13 with 53.12 percent of the vote.
Finally, in Lakeland, Bill "Tiger" Read won the Northeast District B City Commissioner seat by a wide margin, collecting 65.9 percent of votes cast. The race for the city's vacant At-Large Commission seat was much closer, with Chad McLeod collecting 38.05 percent of votes cast and beating out three other challengers. The race will go to a runoff since nobody got 50 percent of the vote.
Voters also voted against two of the three proposed amendments to the city's charter. Only Charter Amendment 2, which had to do with term limits for city commissioners, passed, receiving 61.3 percent of the vote.
In Manatee County, voters chose a new commissioner and voted on eight charter amendments in Holmes Beach as well as voted on three charter amendments in Anna Maria.
Anna Maria voters approved all three City Charter Amendments by wide margins.
Similarly, Holmes Beach voters approved all eight proposed amendments to its city charter, and voted James Kihm, Terry Schaefer, and Carol Soustek to new two-year terms on the City Commission. Kihm and Soustek were incumbents going into the race.