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Provencher and McGrew Win in Flagler Beach, Romney Trounces Gingrich in Flagler

| January 31, 2012

Joy McGrew, last Christmas in Flagler Beach. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 9:01 p.m.

Mitt Romney beat Newt Gingrich decisively in the GOP primary in Flagler County, with a 47 to 35 percent advantage. Rick Santorum came in third with 13 percent, and Ron Paul fourth with 5 percent. The tally is based on 10,812 votes out of 26,861 registered Republicans, a 43 percent turnout among Republicans, and with 34 of 34 precincts reporting.

In the Flagler Beach municipal election, based on 1,538 votes counted, Joy McGrew has defeated Sandra Mason with 52 percent of the vote, while Linda Provencher decisively beat J. NeJame with 58 percent of the vote.

The vote tally is as follows:

Provencher, 890 votes to NeJame’s 648.
McGrew, 790 votes to Mason’s 737.

The results are unofficial, but all three of Flagler Beach’s precincts have been counted, sealing the victory for Provencher and McGrew. Both are former commissioners returning to the city commission for the second time. Mason was a newcomer. NeJame was trying to win office in Flagler Beach for the fourth time.

“It was good to be out in the community, it was good to get back in touch with the people, walk the streets, in my case I bicycled a lot of streets, house to house,” McGrew said. She had served two terms on the commission until deciding to step down less than a year ago, in March 2011. “I basically heard, good, you’re our voice of reason, we’re glad you’re coming back, we need you up there, so I heard a lot of encouragement.” She also heard a lot of questions about who to vote for in the mayoral race. She suggested that voters do their homework and go to the meet and greets.

But McGrew had her own pick: Provencher, without question. “I recommend somebody who has experience, so Linda P,” whom she said she would prefer to work with, rather than with NeJame, because Provencher, in McGrew’s view, would bring greater cohesion to the commission.

Provencher unwittingly illustrated McGrew’s point when asked what she would do first, after the election.

Candidates for two Flagler Beach city offices, with their supporters, caught the day's last light, and straggler voters, oustide City Hall Tuesday evening. Mayoral Candidate J. NeJame was across the street. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“What I’m going to need to do first is, the people who voted against me, to convince them that I’m not the antichrist, as some citizens have tried to portray me,” Provencher said, “squash the rumors, make them see that I’m for all the people, not just little groups or certain businesses, but I really want to represent all of Flagler Beach.”

Provencher described an especially bitter campaign in which she said she had to fight false allegations spread through email, such as the notion that she had not voted for Bruce Campbell, the city manager (Provencher was not on the commission when Campbell was hired), ior that one of her acts would be to vote him out, or that she would re-form a coalition, as she once had, with McGrew and Commissioner Jane Mealy, though as the mayor, Provencher has no vote on city matters. She has a voice–and a seldom-used veto, which the commission can override with a supermajority vote of four.

Both McGrew and Provencher were at the Golden Lion, the Flagler Beach restaurant where Provencher is an assistant manager, for the victory party–as was Jane Mealy, now the senior member of the commission. “I think the city of Flagler Beach did well. I think it’ll be good for the city,” Mealy said of the evening’s outcome.

McGrew returns to the commission, replacing the seat vacated by John Feind, who decided not to run again after none years on the commission. Feind had been the commission chairman, a largely ceremonial, but still notable role, because it sets the tone of the commission’s meetings–and, not insignificantly, the pace of those bi-monthly meetings, which are notoriously epic in length. Mealy is now in line to chair the commission next, a role she said she’d like to fulfill, though it’s up to her colleagues to elect her.

Asked about the possible outcomes of the election less than an hour before the polls closed this evening, Mason said: “It’s the same answer either way. It’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve met great people, like Rusty,” Mason said, pointing to Rusty Place, a supporter, “and lots of people in town I didn’t know, and it’s been fantastic, so I’m glad I ran.” Mason said that while she’d “never say never,” she was not planning on future runs for office. “There are other things in town I’d like to get involved in, and I will, but I don’t have any long-term political plans.”

NeJame, who had stood apart from the three other candidates and their supporters Tuesday evening, near City Hall, said: “I’ve give it all I would give, and I don’t regret that I want to help the city out, just as I have.” He said his whole campaign had been the work of just two people. “It was a grass-roots effort on my part, and I was against a large contingent of other people.”

Florida-wide, and with 79 percent of statewide precincts reporting, Romney is leading with 47 percent of the vote. Gingrich is second with 32 percent, Santorum, who did not campaign in the state for the past several days so he could be with his ailing daughter, was third with 13 percent, and Ron Paul 4th with 7 percent.

Romney won the entire I-4 corridor and all but a few inland counties in south-central Florida. Gingrich took most of the Panhandle counties, which tend to preserve a more politically Deep South flavor–and neighbor Gingrich’s Georgia to the north.

Job done. (© FlaglerLive)

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13 Responses for “Provencher and McGrew Win in Flagler Beach, Romney Trounces Gingrich in Flagler”

  1. John Smith says:

    The election is over and THE BEST PEOPLE won.

  2. SSDD says:

    32% actually went out and voted… Leaves 68% that can keep their mouth shut from now till after November. If you didn’t vote today to pick your candidate, why would you go vote to make someone President???

  3. flagler beach native says:


  4. Steven Wood via Facebook says:

    Tonite was a great nite for Flagler Beach with Linda Provencher winning the Mayors race and Joy McGrew winning the commission seat. There will be PEACE in the city. thank you all who voted for these two winners.

  5. Congratulations Linda! And congratulations Flagler Beach!

  6. flagler beach native says:


  7. palmcoaster says:

    As a poll worker I give a big Thank You to our Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks for a job well done!
    Her dedicated work, attention to details and good poll workers classes and “for the first time ever” all poll workers got their pay checks ready and distributed by their clerks on each precinct, after the polls closed and their duties were completed! Never before was this ever done in this expeditious manner. Even minor unexpected’s, like for the first time not having at least in some precincts, that I am aware, our sheriff deputy showing up to escort the clerks with ballots and voting equipment as traditionally done before, was expeditiously resolved by having two poll workers from different party affiliation riding together, in custody of the precious load.
    We should all appreciate that our electoral process took place in such an organized environment provided by our current Flagler County Supervisor of Elections Kimberle Weeks and all the dedicated poll workers serving in those long hours, just like used to be with our beloved and former Supervisor of Elections Peggy Border that we all sure remember with a smile. Was a long day for us all at these precincts from 7 AM to 7 PM, welcoming voters with a wide smile as they exercise their right and VOTE… IN HONOR OF OUR VETERANS, that fought for our freedom to provide us with this right.

  8. Tom Brown via Facebook says:

    Thanks, FlaglerLive, for a tightly written but comprehensive summary of the local angle on the primary. Wish i could find something comparable for Volusia.

  9. Hsart says:

    Thank You Goes Out to All the People who Took the Time to Vote, All Our Election Workers and To Flagler Live for Keeping All of Us Up To Date on the Election ! We feel this Site is a Great Asset to Our Community for SURE!!! Congrats to Miss Provencher and Mrs. McGrew!!! Just Didnt see All those Empty Lots and SeaOats Making it to the Polls!!! Mr. NeJames States He Was Against a Large “Contingent” of Other People? What ??? We the Residents of Flagler Beach VOTED, YOU LOST mr. NeJames X 3, Dont Go Away Mad Just Go Away!!! Oh and That Sign YOU were Holding, VETS for NeJames, Im a Vet, But I Did NOT Vote for YOU!! That Large Number of People You Speak of is Trying to Tell YOU Somthing: ” FOR GET A BOUT IT” “NOT GONNA HAPPEN” “ADIOS AMIGO” “WE HEAR YA KNOCKIN BUT YA CANT COME IN”!!!!!!

  10. Mary Reubel via Facebook says:

    Congratulatins to Linda, Joy & Flagler Beach!

  11. Big Fish says:

    Go Linda Go!

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