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Holland Is Palm Coast’s New Mayor, Lenhart Wins Supervisor, Conklin Wins School Board, Manfre Is Out, Staly Beats Lamb

| August 30, 2016

larry jones

Larry Jones was the upset winner over incumbent Sheriff Jim Manfre in the evening’s biggest surprise–though to many, perhaps not as much as a surprise, considering the tumult of Manfre’s tenure. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 9:50 p.m.

Milissa Holland has won the election to succeed Jon Netts as Palm Coast’s mayor, routing her three opponents, early tallies of the primary elections show. Her 63 percent tally of early voting and voting by mail built an insurmountable lead, even with about 5,000 votes yet to be counted. Dennis McDonald was second with 15 percent, John Brady third with 14.5 percent, and Ron Radford last with 7 percent.

“It’s obviously a pleasant surprise, I’m excited about all the confidence the voters have demonstrated in my ability to become the next mayor,” Holland said after her win. “I’ve always gone into every single one of my campaign working day and night to get to as many voters as possible.”

Colleen Conklin has won her fifth term as a Flagler County School Board member, easily beating Jason Sands and cruising to what may be another trouncing: Conklin has usually been among the leading vote-getters in her two decades on the board.

“At the end of the day I hope people know and realize that I still fight with the same level of passion and attempt to shine a light on those issues impacting children and education in the same way that I did when I was first elected,” Conklin said from her home this evening. “I mean, I still have fire in the belly.” (Someone in the background shouted, “and it’s far from out.”) Conklin added: “And I’m humbled and I’m honored to be reelected and to continue to fight for those issues that mean so much to all of us.”

Kaiti Lenhart, the newly minted incumbent supervisor of elections, has also won, easily beating Kimble Medley and Abra Seay. Lenhart took 56 percent of the vote, leaving Seay with 24 percent and Medley with just under 20 percent. “I feel very relieved and ready to get back to work,” Lenhart said Wednesday morning. “Now I can really focus on the general election and continue to rebuild the office and do what the voters have now placed the confidence in me to do.”

In the closely-watched race for sheriff, Larry Jones upset incumbent Jim Manfre by 500 votes, and Rick Staly defeated John Lamb, also by 500 votes, with Don Fleming in third and all other competition too far south to register.

milissa holland

Milissa Holland, right, celebrating her win at Salvo Art Project this evening. Click on the image for larger view. (© Steven Sobel)

“It tells us they want a change,” Jones said of voters, “they want a change in leadership. The leadership is not what the county deserves. He’s not a cop. He’s not a cop.” He added: “I’m going to lend an ear to every voice in Flagler County.”

For Manfre, the loss–to a retired sergeant, beloved in the community but with no managerial experience, is a stinging rebuke of a tenure too long dominated by peripheral, ethical issues, and a repeat of Manfre’s loss in 2004, when he fell in the Democratic primary to Thomas Hutson, an unknown. Then as now, the electorate was turned off by several issues that had embroiled Manfre in peripheral battles–with the News-Journal over open records, with the county commission over another set of records.

Late Tuesday night, Manfre issued a statement through his public information office: “I have been honored to have served as your Sheriff for the past 8 years,” the statement read, going on to enumerate various accomplishments of the past four years. There was not a word of acknowledgment about the defeat, let alone a word acknowledging or congratulating Jones or Staly. It was, in other words, vintage Manfre.

Staly was undersheriff in Manfre’s administration. “I think the voters at least on the Republican side said they want a change, they want a cop’s cop at the top that has the experience and the leadership to take the sheriff’s office to the next level,” Staly said. “I’m the only candidate of the six Republicans that owned a business here and grew it to 120 employees and four years later sold it to a national firm, so I’m the only one who has both business and government experience. I’ve been committed to this community for 10 years.”

“It’s been an emotional roller-coaster, just ups and downs,” Lamb said of the race late this afternoon. “It’s a strain both physically, mentally, psychologically, financially, emotionally. It’s been a challenge. It’s definitely been a growing experience.”

rick staly

Rick Staly with supporter Randy Doyle late this afternoon at the Palm Coast Community Center. (© FlaglerLive)

In the Republican primaries for the Flagler County Commission, Donald O’Brien beat Denise Calderwood with a nearly two-to-one margin, Dave Sullivan, the former Republican Executive Committee chairman, beat Jason France by a larger margin, and Charlie Ericksen, the incumbent, easily beat Ken Mazzie and Dan Potter, taking 40 percent of the vote and leaving his challengers with 30 percent each. O’Brien now faces incumbent Democrat George Hanns–for whom O’Brien has voted in Hanns’s last two elections–Sullivan faces incumbent Barbara Revels, and Ericksen faces Jason DeLorenzo, who is ending his tenure on the Palm Coast City Council.

“It means I have a lot more work to do, but it’s a validation of hard work,” O’Brien said, “and I have a real, newfound respect for this whole game of local politics. It’s exhausting, and nerve-wracking. Just the pressure of trying to run a good campaign, getting enough volunteers, especially in this season where so many people are committed to so many different things.” Of Hanns, he said: “Fighting incumbency is very difficult. George is a brand, he’s a good brand and he has a very strong following.” But he conceded that he’d voted for Hanns, “I voted the last two elections for him because I really didn’t like his opponents.”

If Conklin’s race was over by early evening, the District 5 race, with four contenders vying for the seat vacated by Sue Dickinson, was closer: Maria Barbosa was the surprise winner, ahead of Myra Middleton Valentine by some fewer than 400 votes and Sharon Demers by 700 votes, out of 17,700 votes. Paul Anderson was a distant fourth. The race isn’t over: Middleton Valentine and Barbosa will be in a run-off this November.

robert cuff

Robert Cuff this afternoon in Grand Haven. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The two Palm Coast City Council races, other than mayor, were shaping up as expected by pre-voting prognosticators: Robert Cuff not only won, but won decisively enough to make him that seat’s outright winner, making a run-off unnecessary, and enabling the council to seat him early next month, to fill the seat Bill McGuire resigned this month. It’s a different story in the District 3 race, where Nick Klufas and Pam Richardson will be contending the seat again in the November run-off: Richardson won tonight with 42 percent of the vote to Klufas’s 38 percent, with Anita Moeder at less than 20 percent. A 50 percent majority is required to be declared the outright winner.

In a brief interview with Holland after her win, the one word that never crossed her lips was “change.

“The message is loud and clear, we need to protect what we have here and focus on moving forward,” Holland said, speaking from the Salvo art gallery in Bunnell. “Certainly at my party tonight there were residents form every sector in this community, the private sector that was there, the public sector, the arts, amenities, recreation, and I think what that says to me is certainly people enjoy what we have in our community. But I have spoken to folks that are looking forward to us being progressive in moving forward.” Asked explicitly why she was not speaking of change, she said: “I don’t know, I think what you get with me is obviously strong leadership, I don’t hold back, I don’t pull any punches when I have to make decisions.”

Among her guests at Salvo was Jon Netts, who’s been on the council since 2001, and was mayor for the last eight years.

“I take that as a validation of what Jim Canfield and his first city council did and what I’ve done over the years,” Netts said. “I think by and large Palm Coast has moved in positive directions. Not wanting change doesn’t mean you don’t want to move ahead.” Rather, he said, it also means not wanting to “repudiate what has been done so far.”

jon netts priscilla netts

Jon Netts and his wife Priscilla five years ago, the day he won re-election to his last term as mayor. (© FlaglerLive)

“We heard a lot of rhetoric during the campaign about how terrible things were, I don’t think that was the message of the voters,” Netts said. The campaign for city council seats, particularly the mayoral campaign, had indeed sounded like that of campaigners on two planets: Holland on one, speaking brightly of a continuing in a certain direction rather than severing a course, and Brady and McDonald on another planet–McDonald criticizing and predicting terrible financial outcomes if the city didn’t change direction, and Brady generally seething about all sorts of things, rarely coherently. Voters orbited around the planet they knew best.

“Clean, green, serene, those are kind of what we’re looking for, I think Milissa supports that, I think Bob Cuff supports that,” Netts said, noting that Cuff would likely be installed as a council member at the next council meeting in a week. “In this case the will of the people is very clear,” Netts said of Cuff’s election. “I’m very pleased with the results and I would assume we will see him at the next meeting, and we will be in compliance with the city charter, or very close thereto.”

Will Netts remain a Holland adviser? “To the extent that she wants my advice,” the mayor said. “She is a different person, I would not expect her to seek out my advice. If I thought she needed my advice on issue after issue after issue, I probably would not have supported her. A leader is a leader: a leader seeks advice, a leader seeks counsel from other people, but ultimately a leader has to take responsibility. You have to make the best decisions that you can make.”

As for himself, Netts said he would stay involved. “While I will not be on the City Council, I am not going to abandon my community, there are all kinds of opportunities to be part of the community, to participate in the community, to serve the community.”

In the four races for circuit judge, Stasia Warren, Scott DuPont, Kathleen McNeilly and Howard McGillin Jr. were winning the tallies in Flagler, with a few precincts yet to be counted–and, more notably, with tallies in Volusia, Putnam and St. Johns not yet included. Judges’ races are judicial-district-wide.

Ron DeSantis easily won the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District, while William McCullough was winning the Democratic primary.

The turnout was dismal: only 6,585 people voted today, on Election Day, fewer than the 6,772 who voted by mail, fewer than the 7,696 who cast ballots in the two weeks of early voting. The total turnout was 27 percent, just two points better than in the 2012 primary, three points better than the 2008 primary. Republican voters outnumbered Democrats by a margin of almost 2-to-1, and for independents or those not registered with either major party, just 2,338 voters cast ballots, or 11 percent of those not registered with either party, even though many non-partisan races were on the ballot.

Voters also approved the expansion of a renewable-energy tax break that backers say will help businesses and spark the expanded use of solar energy in Florida, the News Service of Florida reported. The proposed constitutional amendment approved Tuesday was known as Amendment 4 and was placed on the ballot by the Legislature. It is designed to extend a residential renewable-energy tax break to commercial and industrial properties. The preliminary results indicated that the measure, which backers say will spur growth in solar and renewable energy, was supported in almost every county by well over the 60 percent margin necessary for a successful amendment, and by around 70 percent in Flagler.

More detailed results, as reported by the supervisor of elections, appear below the chart.

Primary Election 2016 Results: Flagler County's Local Races and State Races

Candidate and Race
Supervisor of Elections
Kaiti Lenhart1070156.21
Kimble Medley376119.76
Abra Seay457624.04
Flagler School Board, District 3
Colleen Conklin (incumbent)1148964.47
Jason Sands633335.53
Flagler School Board, District 5
Paul Anderson380321.51
Maria P. Barbosa497928.16
Sharon A. Demers429524.29
Myra Middleton Valentine460726.05
Sheriff, Republican Primary
Donald Fleming161314.09
John Lamb380633.25
Jerry O'Gara9898.64
Rick Staly430637.62
Mark Whisenant5184.53
Chris Yates2151.88
Sheriff, Democratic Primary
Larry D. Jones359953.83
Jim Manfre (Incumbent)308746.17
Palm Coast Mayor
John R. Brady222014.60
Milissa Holland964463.43
Dennis McDonald228415.02
Ronald Radford10566.95
Palm Coast City Council, District 1
Robert Cuff528052.89
Sims E. Jones256123.27
Arthur McGovern Jr.262423.84
Palm Coast City Council, District 3
Nick Klufas528638.50
Anita Moeder267019.45
Pam Richardson577542.06
Flagler County Commission, District 1, Republican Primary
Charles F. Ericksen, Jr. (Incumbent)380139.88
Ken Mazzie289330.35
Dan Potter283729.77
Flagler County Commission, District 3, Republican Primary
Jason France281830.53
David Sullivan641269.47
Flagler County Commission, District 5, Republican Primary
Denise Calderwood354637.62
Donald O'Brien588162.38
Circuit Judge, Group
Chris France
Sebrina L. Slack52,362 (5941)44.9 (47.62)
Stasia Warren64, 267 (6535)55.1 (52.38)
Circuit Judge, Group 10
Malcolm Anthony52,216 (5934)37.8 (35.84)
Scott DuPont86,053 (10622)62.2 (64.16)
Circuit Judge, Group 13
David Hood63,728 (7532)44.2 (44.2)
A. Kathleen McNeilly80,482 (9502)55.8 (55.78)
Circuit Judge, Group 17
Linda L. Gaustad63,855 (7985)45.8 (48.61)
Howard O. McGillin Jr. 76,624 (8443)54. 2 (51.39)
US Senate, Republican Primary
Carlos Beruff264,338 (2620)18.5 (22.90)
Ernie Rivera45,128 (326)3.2 (2.85)
Marco Rubio1,029,374 (7893)72.0 (69)
Dwight Mark Anthony Young91,029 (600)6.4 (5.25)
US Senate, Democratic Primary
Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente60,730 (272)5.4 (4.09)
Alan Grayson199,781 (1669)17.7 (25.11)
Pam Keith173,762 (919)15.4 (13.83)
Reginald Luster29,122 (106)2.6 (1.59)
Patrick Murphy665,403 (2680)59.0 (55.37)
Congressional Representative, District 6, Republican Primary
Fred Costello16,681 (2009)24.7 (18.28)
Ron Desantis41,276 (7723)61.0 (70.34)
G. G. Galloway9,681 (1252)14.3 (11.39)
Congressional Representative, District 6, Democratic Primary
William McCullough16,034 (2457)36.6 (39.09)
Jay McGovern8,378 (1256)19.1 (19.98)
George Pappas6,758 (832)15.4 (13.24)
Dwayne L. Taylor12,619 (1741)28.8 (27.70)
Note: For statewide and multi-county results, as in the races for governor, senate and judicial races, the total tally appears first, followed by the Flagler-only tally in parenthesis.


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36 Responses for “Holland Is Palm Coast’s New Mayor, Lenhart Wins Supervisor, Conklin Wins School Board, Manfre Is Out, Staly Beats Lamb”

  1. Steve Wood. says:

    Good job Larry Jones beating Manfre as he can go the way of his buddy bruce campbell the former city manager of FB. NOW THE BOTH UNEMPLOYED.

  2. OhISee says:

    As a registered Republican, I will be proudly vote Larry Jones for Sheriff in the General Election.

  3. Deputy's wife says:

    Way to go Larry! We will support you all the way. Watch out Staly! This is Larry’s county.

  4. Realist says:

    Staly won but he went very negative and ran a rather low road campaign. I probably will vote for him but not sure.

  5. ScotchRox says:

    As a registered Republican, I will be proudly vote Rick Staly for Sheriff in the General Election.

  6. CLS says:

    Unbelievable that a corrupt cop like Staley won the vote! Wow, what does that say in this Trump-GOPer world, and what does that say about republicans today?

  7. Jw says:

    I think it’s really dumb to have democratic or republican sheriffs. Your political party has absolutely nothing to do with the position. Keeping a budget and keeping the peace is what qualifies you. If the county is majority republican or democrat than that normally solidifies who gets elected which is wrong. A sheriff is a law enforcement officer and a keeper of the peace. He’s not a damn democrat or a damn republican.

  8. See ya Jim Troiano! says:

    Thank god Manfre is finished. He can leave and take his boy-toy Jim Troiano with him.

  9. CLS says:

    Wow, unethical cop Staley, who set up Manfre with his Tennessee vacation homes, and did the same thing in Orlando, wins here in Flagler over a decent, hardworking GOOD man like John Lamb? Go Larry Jones!

  10. BlueJammer says:

    Great coverage, Flaglerlive! Thank you!

  11. Anita Moeder says:

    Congratulations to all the winners! Also kudos to all the great volunteers who were part of this season, phone banking, canvassing, sign waving … And always with smiles!

  12. OhISee says:

    Really ScotchRocks?
    My bad grammar too? LOL.
    This Republican is for Larry Jones for Flagler County Sheriff.
    In memory of Joe Delarosby.

  13. Justin says:

    Thank god Manfre is out. Anyone but him.

  14. Gerry D. says:

    Finally the voters got it right and voted this failure Manfre out of office. You can’t run a Sheriff office on make believe law enforcement experience, vindictive practices and a grudge. What Manfre feels now is what several employees felt four years ago. He actually deserves to lose the position as sheriff because he was never qualified to hold such an honorable position. Good riddance and Let me know if you need help packing your bags.

  15. is this a choice? says:

    Truly saddened by the results of the sheriff’s election. Staly has only proven he has money and is willing to bet what equals a drop in his personal bucket to win a campaign and thus the right to then gamble and spend everyone else’s money to realize his clearly articulated vision for the future? Embarkment into a new age for law enforcement? Ensuring monies spent on public safety is also an investment for public safety in Flagler?
    He did run on his record… it likely cost him more than he wanted to spend… but this was not about money, hence the junk campaign and muddy mailers, Staly was not going to rest in Orange, Flagler, or elsewhere until he won the golden ticket. It seems the Flagler voters were unable to see past such an abhorrent flash of cash or political manipulations.

    If Staly was truly deserving, respected, competent, forward leaning, and a beloved community leader he would not need to switch counties, sectors, political parties, or undermine one sheriff’s office after another from within to arrive at this destination.

    So it seems some 500 or so voters have supposedly chosen to keep this county in a even more soap opera-like vice-lock.

    Over the remaining campaign cycle I challenge us all to demand something that resembles anything substance if nothing else; here are a few valid markers for Mr. Staly:
    -What enlightening policy changes have you in store to ensure this community is engaged, given the complexities of an ever evolving demographic and the future challenges the law enforcement in this country, let alone of this community faces?
    -Is there a strategic plan for the sheriff’s office and if so, does it in any way address public safety as a whole, rather than continuing to see it through the fractured, compartmentalized, lifeless lens of factions that exist today?
    -Transparency. He said, he said. Please, once and for all (*ignorance is not only unacceptable it is implausible- particularly for someone who has any background in law enforcement, it is part of your very fabric to know as much as possible beforehand, particularly when there are such high stakes involved*) How were you such an uniformed and seemingly, at times, harmless know-nothing as to the swift and undeniably biased, be it political or otherwise, mass extermination of ranking officers once Manfre took office? Is there more to come? Be it in the form of more early retirements or paper promotions?
    -You claim to be a working cop’s “cop”, while referring back to the previous question, can you at all realistically relate to the line level officers given your vast wealth? What makes working for the FCSO a career choice, versus a stepping stone into a bigger, better paying community for the rank and file… as a man of wealth do you consider this a worthwhile discussion? How do you intend to retain a workforce, not merely an elite few, but a force, dedicated to Flagler? How do you intend to maximize the tax dollars spent in Flagler on law enforcement to retain talent, rather than relinquish our investment to other communities? How will you offer professional development to the entire force in a realistic, meaningful way?
    -Our interactions with you day-to-day (this man has shown himself to be an unabashed, willful and proven unprofessional … in short it appears to be second nature for him to behave like a negligent LEO, aka an utter ass.) want to know that if you prove to continue the legacy of embarrassment of those who’ve proceeded you as sheriff of Flagler, will you bow out gracefully, or attempt to buy another campaign?
    -Again asking, and now begging for transparency… if you are unable to elevate this agency and the community will you promise to vacate the office? Opt out of a second campaign, in Flagler?

    Here is the part where I am willing to forego…. whatever *something I am not at all convinced you would do, regardless of any real capability* answer the above questions and thusly illustrate how you can make this next move not about you, but rather the greater good. Do so and you not only have my vote, but my exhaustive, and tireless campaigning for our community. This is where my interests reside. I rest easy tonight knowing such for sure…. do you?

  16. Donald Trump's Tiny Fingers says:

    Staley won the R vote and o’fascist got almost 10% of it. So much for all of that R talk about ethics, right?

  17. Old Lady says:

    So glad for Ms. Holland, now she can organize Palm Coast and lead in a newdirection

  18. Donna Heiss says:

    Yep, go Larry Jones! Staly sets people up then uses it against them. Classic bad cop move. Yep I said it. I did not like the negative campaigning at the very end when most people had already early voted. What goes around comes around as my grandmother would say.

  19. Westbrook says:

    Great job Larry Jones! You have two voters in this house. My husband was glad when he saw that you entered the race. He thinks a lot of you. Good luck! We will be glad to put a sign in our yard and a bumper stickers on our cars.

  20. davet says:

    27 percent of the voters turned out. That is pathetic.

  21. Thomas Conrad says:

    Good job, FLAGLER LIVE. Thanks for the thorough coverage.

  22. eric says:

    Bye bye Manfre

  23. John H. Yankovich says:

    Although a senior conservative I appreciate and thank Flagler Live for the objective and extensive report on the city and county elections! It’s a shame only 27% of electorate exercise their civic duty. If you don’t vote don’t complain!!!

  24. Heading North says:

    Well done Flagler Live- good job with the results!
    Great job Larry Jones and good luck in November!

  25. lenamarshall says:

    YOU are talking apples and oranges , who care about bruce campbell.

  26. Judy Delarosby says:

    OhlSee, thank you…

  27. JustBNice says:

    Staley ran a dirty race. He’s going to have to make amends to John Lamb if he wants my vote.

  28. Jeanne Coyne says:

    I am sad that John Lamb did not win the Republican ticket for Sheriff. I will not vote for Staly as I feel he ran a dirty campaign and he received WAY too much in donations from outside the state of Florida. I will do more research on Larry Jones. I want to make sure he has “real” leadership experience and has dealt with a budget the size Flagler County will give him to be responsible for. Being Sheriff isn’t the same as being a beat cop. If he has the experience, I will give him my vote.

  29. woodchuck says:

    WOW,money and dirty politics does buy you a win for flagler sheriff.No lamb? I vote Jones period.


    I too will never vote for Staly.. Anyone that desperate to win any election – who spends sooo much – for a position which should should be EMPLOYED and not elected…
    So sorry John Lamb lost – I have not met Larry Jones but I sincerely doubt he will spend desperate amounts of money nor proliferate my mailbox on a daily basis with bash and trash like Staly must be planning next.n Poor mailmen in Flagler County,….They’re gonna be in for it again I am afraid – all the way up to the general election…

  31. Oldseadog says:

    For Shame—————–Only 27% of elligible voters took a few moments to bother voting here!

    “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves
    — and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”


  32. YankeeExPat says:

    Well it a new day is dawn post election night, has Dennis McDonald filed Suit yet?

    Palm Coast has a Woman Mayor!!!!!………..”Odsbodkins!…..Me-thinks Mr. McDonald is thoroughly in the Trump camp that believes the election is rigged if he didn’t win.

    Aug. 7, 2016

  33. America Rinaldi says:

    Now get rid of all of the damn signs littering all of Palm Coast. They are an eye sore and don’t help you get elected.How can the city,who enforces grass cutting and are always driving by checking to see if your property is acceptable,let all of those trashy signs go up all over the place.I take pride in my property only to drive down the street and see them.I guess it’s who you are and your”position”in the community.UGH!!

  34. Ron says:

    Staly donates to the governors campaign for recognition for an event that happen 25 years ago when he was employed in Orange County. He is an egomaniac. No class. Do not trust this man. He will stab you in the back.

    Most of his donors are from outside the county. Who in there right mind would spend more money on an election then they can earn being a sheriff.

    I have only heard good things about Larry Jones. Hopefully he will surround himself with competent people that will guide him in areas that he maybe lacking in. If I was Larry Jones I would seek assistance from John P. He is a class act and a dedicated law enforcement officer.

  35. RayD says:

    Richardson? Oh yeah, it makes perfect sense.

  36. Proud to be Floridian says:

    I am proud to have had the opportunity to meet Larry Jones last year. For those of you that do not know him he is a Godly, hard working, humble man. He believes in this community and the people who call it home. I am a republican but Larry Jones has my vote all day long!

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