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Staly Is Flagler’s New Sheriff, Bexley New Court Clerk, Republicans Sweep County Commission, Klufas Wins Palm Coast Seat, Barbosa Wins School Board, Hutson, Renner Win

| November 8, 2016

Donald O'Brien has done what no challenger has been able to do since 1992: unseat Flagler County Commissioner George Hanns. (© FlaglerLive)

Donald O’Brien has done what no challenger has been able to do since 1992: unseat Flagler County Commissioner George Hanns. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 9 p.m.

A historic Republican sweep was in the making Tuesday evening in Flagler as voting results left the county with not one Democratic constitutional officer, with a Republican incumbent and two Republican challengers appearing poised to defeat three Democrats in county commission races.

Rick Staly is Flagler County’s new sheriff, defeating Democrat Larry Jones and independent Thomas Dougherty, Tom Bexley its new Clerk of Court, and Maria Barbosa has won election to the Flagler County School Board, defeating Myra Middleton-Valentine, as all three candidates won lopsided victories.

Staly, an undersheriff in the current Jim Manfre administration its first two years, was celebrating at Flagler Beach’s Beachfront Grille this evening. “The beach side was hit so hard and the people that were hurt the most were people that don’t make much money, the waiter, the waitresses, the staff,” Staly said earlier this afternoon as he was having lunch at a Rotary event for veterans. “Most of those people live paycheck to paycheck, so I wanted to have our party on the beach to support the businesses there and the employees that have been hit so hard.”

In the races for county commission, The GOP’s Donald O’Brien managed to do what no one has done since 1992: unseat Democrat George Hanns, whose traditional strategy of shunning the campaign trail did not work this time. O’Brien was beating him by an insurmountable lead of nearly 20 points with most votes counted. Commissioner Charlie Ericksen appeared poised to easily defend his seat against Democratic challenger Jason DeLorenzo, who resigned his Palm Coast City Council to take on the county commission.

And in the most stunning result of the evening, Dave Sullivan, the former Republican Executive Committee chairman, appeared in position to unseat two-term incumbent Barbara Revels, one of the most effective elected official on any local board in the past eight years.

Charlie Ericksen. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Charlie Ericksen. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“I’m elated, I didn’t think I knew 28,000,” Ericksen said, shortly after spending some time at Staly’s party. “I just appreciate the confidence they’ve placed in me and I’ll continue to do the job I’ve been doing and more.” The Republican sweep surprised him. “I know we have a greater number of voters in the county and I think that just followed through, a lot of people voted straight line and that was it,” Ericksen said. He said he was going to miss Hanns and Revels, crediting Revels for being “a good leader, and during the time she was chairperson, she did a super job keeping control.” Of Hanns, he said “he’s had 20-great plus years with the county.”

Sullivan in a statement thanked Revels for her service in the past eight years, then pledged to work with other governments in the county, with special attention to keep taxes low, pay attention to the “less fortunate” and to veterans.

Dave Sullivan

Dave Sullivan. (© FlaglerLive)

“It’s four years of work,” Sullivan said this evening in an interview. “When I took over as chairman eight years ago there were more registered Democrats than Republicans in the county. We’re now a plurality of over 6,000 Republicans over Democrats, What I did during the campaign, and you can say it was smart or not smart, I played it low key and made sure the Republicans voted for me.” He said the Republican sweep was possible locally despite the internal difficulties that the party went through in the past few years.

“It’s a surprise to most people that I won, because they know Barbara more than they know me, but I’ve been around, too,” Sullivan said.

The result means that come mid-November, and assuming Gov. Rick Scott picks a replacement for the late Frank Meeker by then, the county commission will have three new commissioners, just as the Palm Coast City Council will have two new council members and a new mayor.

tom bexley

Tom Bexley, right, counting the hours before the inevitable. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

DeLorenzo, speaking as he campaigned in late afternoon at the VFW voting precinct, spoke of his concern about the big voting gap between Republicans and Democrats in the county. He’d hoped his record over five years at the council would compensate. Asked what he would do if the election did not go his way, he said: “Take a little break, I think, then I’ll still be involved in the community. I’ll find a good board that’s a good fit for me, probably something more philanthropic than political.” He was also planning to focus more on his business, Teamwork Custom Art–and spend more time with his wife and daughter (he is married to Rebecca DeLorenzo, president of the Flagler Chamber of Commerce.)

In the run-off for the last Palm Coast City Council seat up for grabs, Nick Klufas was running five points ahead of Pam Richardson, a lead he was building on as additional precincts were counted.

Results in Flagler County also show Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Paul Renner easily winning re-election in what is turning into a Republican sweep in Flagler County.

Bexley will succeed Gail Wadsworth as clerk of court. “I already have the job as chief deputy,” Bexley said, a job he’s held seven years. “So it will be business as usual.”

A lopsided Republican advantage in voting anticipated the struggle the Democrats were facing in this election, with the experience of two-term Democratic Commissioner Barbara Revels or the longevity of six-term George Hanns, the longest-serving elected official in the county, counting for little in a county that has very steadily and heavily tilted right in the last eight years.

In the presidential race, Donald Trump easily took Flagler with close to 60 percent of the vote, and looked poised in returns by mid-evening to win the state–and the presidency. Florida supervisors of election, Flagler’s included, were doing an impressive job of sending in their results efficiently.

Florida approved Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana, with more than 70 percent of the vote in Flagler and across the state, and rejected Amendment 1, a solar power amendment the state’s utilities had financed.

[This is a developing story. More soon.]

General Election 2016 Results: Flagler County's Local Races, State Races and the Presidency

Candidate and Race
Hillary Clinton(21769)
Donald Trump(33577)
Flagler School Board, District 5
Maria P. Barbosa(28618)
Myra Middleton Valentine(19260)
Flagler County Sheriff
Thomas Dougherty(4000)
Larry D. Jones(21498)
Rick Staly(29865)
Palm Coast City Council, District 3
Nick Klufas(20081)
Pam Richardson(17626)
Flagler County Commission, District 1
Jason DeLorenzo(24083)
Charles F. Ericksen, Jr. (Incumbent)(28709)
Flagler County Commission, District 3
Barbara Revels(24244)
David Sullivan(28292)
Flagler County Commission, District 5
George Hanns(21286)
Donald O'Brien(31048)
US Senate
Patrick Murphy(21028)
Marco Rubio(32640)
Congressional Representative, District 6
Ron Desantis(33494)
William McCullough(21124)
State Senate, District 7
Curtis Ceballos(20654)
Travis Hutson(33245)
State Representative, District 24
Adam Morley(21038)
Paul Renner(32641)
Flagler Clerk of Court
Tom Bexley(33005)
Douglas Courtney(20258)
East Flagler Mosquito Control 3
Florence Fruehan(22165)
Aynne Mcavoy(17421)
Amendment 1
Amendment 2
Amendment 3
Amendment 5
Note: For statewide and multi-county results, as in the races for president and state races, the total tally appears first, followed by the Flagler-only tally in parenthesis.
Matthew Moss, a 35-year-old Palm Coast resident and George Carlin fan, was with candidates at the Flagler County Public Library today. (© FlaglerLive)

Matthew Moss, a 35-year-old Palm Coast resident and George Carlin fan, was with candidates at the Flagler County Public Library today. (© FlaglerLive)

20 Responses for “Staly Is Flagler’s New Sheriff, Bexley New Court Clerk, Republicans Sweep County Commission, Klufas Wins Palm Coast Seat, Barbosa Wins School Board, Hutson, Renner Win”

  1. South Florida says:

    Definitely moving now

  2. Old Lady says:

    The people have spoken

  3. Knowsalittle says:

    Very disappointing results across the board. Many ignorant and uninformed voters in this county who vote party lines and not common sense.

  4. go flaglerlive!!!! says:

    thank you for these updates!!!!!!!

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    What a disappointment to see Staly get it. Not that we expected a different outcome. Especially after the Unions turned their back on Jones and went with the bigger bucks candidate.

    If Staly won this election it was because he had more money and not because of a more ethical outlook on the office. I hope Flagler County enjoys four more years of Flemming/Manfre type behavior.

    When you start whining about needing a change remember it could have been prevented at the polls.

    Congrats to Mr, Staly. Let’s see if you can even remotely have a chance of bringing honor back to the Office Of Sheriff. We can only hope that you will do the right thing and not turn your new power into a witch hunt..

  6. Thatsforbernis says:

    Thank you dnc for rigging a Bernie loss. Did you think we would forget?

  7. Reds Whites n Blues says:

    Hey Hillary……………Feel the Burn ?

  8. Sky says:

    So happy Barbara Revels and George Hans are OUT! Congratulations to the winners, I hope they will take the time and look at how our County dollars are being spent, especially by Matt Dunn, watch him close he’s a scammer and he’s good at it!

  9. carol says:

    So glad to see that Jason didn’t make it!!!

  10. The Ghost of America says:

    trump, barbosa, and Staley. the people have spoken, and they are morons.

  11. PCer says:

    God help us

  12. Freddy says:

    So are those people that were leaving the country if Trump wins packing up?

  13. r&r says:

    It’s a GREAT day for the good old USA. Now we have to start making the USA GREAT again.

  14. Geezer says:


    Bernie was the only viable candidate. Instead they put up that unlikable, corrupt,
    power-hungry, & unethical bitch as the DEM candidate.


  15. Ron says:

    The corruption in the DNC is over. It’s time to put America first! America woke up today to a new beginning. Godbless America and our new president Donald Trump! The people of this country have spoken.

  16. Ws says:

    Bye bye Hillary!! Obama you’re fired! What a great day this is for the American people who have spoken loud and clear!

  17. Ray says:

    Valentine was the better candidate- But the person with the most signs won!

    In the words of the “winner” No Comment”

  18. TylerDurden says:

    Cancel cable and tv newspapers and magazines. Players can protest the NFL games it’s a free country , and as such you can never buy a product advertised during the games.

  19. Common Sense says:

    What a sad day for our country.

    We caanot let hatred, divisivness, bigotry and discrimination be our generation’s legacy. We cannot give up, now. Let’s get to work so we can bring the true America back in four years.

  20. DaveT says:

    A sad day for the Clinton supporters that feel its right to riot and burn the American flag. Yes America has stooped to a new low. After all its amazing how quick these Clinton supporters forget the womanizing Bill Clinton was while president and as Gov of Arkansas. It was a sad day back then but where were the riots and where were these supporters.

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