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Commission Incumbents Meeker and McLaughlin Win, McDonald Beats Fischer for School Board, Shipley and Nobile Win Palm Coast; Scott Wins, Pot Busts

| November 4, 2014

Nate McLaughlin as the sun set on the last day of Incumbent County Commissioner the 2014 campaign. (© FlaglerLive)

Nate McLaughlin as the sun set on the last day of Incumbent County Commissioner the 2014 campaign. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 9:12 p.m.

With all votes counted –just over 38,000, representing a turnout of 53 percent–County Commission incumbents Frank Meeker and Nate McLaughlin have won re-election against challengers and Independents Howard Holley and Denise Calderwood, with Meeker polling 59 percent and McLaughlin just above 60 percent.

The margin of victory, especially in the Meeker-Holley race, is surprisingly vast. Holley was the top spender among local candidates, though Meeker was second in spending.

“I’m just pleased the voters recognize the value we contribute to Flagler County,” Meeker said as he watched the returns at the Portuguese-American Club in Palm Coast. “We work very hard to provide a balance that benefits 100,000 people, not catering to any particular group, and I think the voters recognize it and I’m glad.” He added: “I’m very happy because I’m willing to commit another four years to doing this, doing my best.”

Challenger Janet McDonald has beaten School Board incumbent John Fischer, 54-46 percent.

The Palm Coast City Council will see the most significant shift in its membership, and likely its policies, as Heidi Shipley beat Anne-Marie Shaffer, 53-47 percent, while Steven Nobile beat incumbent Bill Lewis, 51-49 percent, in what proved to be the only close local race of the evening.

“I think there’s something in the air, I think it’s Amendment 2,” McDonald joked a few hours before polls closed (she is opposed to Amendment 2, being opposed to changing the constitution by referendum). A victory, she said, would mean that voters “want someone who’s going to be out there with an experienced eye, educational eye, that’s the only difference,” McDonald said, deeming “team-building” her first priority on the board.

The Palm Coast City Council's two new members, campaigning in August. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Palm Coast City Council’s two new members, campaigning in August. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

In district-wide races, incumbent Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis has beaten Democrat David Cox, with 61 percent to 39 percent. He was taking the Flagler vote handily, with 59 percent, and taking the St. Johns vote by 72 percent, while Sen. John Thrasher beat Democrat Kathleen Trued with more than 55 percent to Trued’s 39 percent. Independent Greg Feldman was around 5 percent. In Flagler, Thrasher was getting just 52 percent of the vote, to Trued’s 42 percent, though Thrasher’s strengths are more pronounced in St. Johns and Putnam. Thrasher will be resigning to take a job as Florida State University’s president.

In statewide races, the incumbents are, as expected, comfortably winning the vote in Flagler, with Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam all getting more than 60 percent.

Rick Scott is beating Charlie Crist in Flagler, 53 to 42 percent, but as with amendments, those numbers are deceiving, representing too small a fraction of the electorate. By late evening, it was apparent that Scott would hold on and beat Crist.

As far as Flagler voters are concerned, Amendment 1, to better protect the environment, is a clear yes (with 70 percent), amendment 2, to legalize medical marijuana, would fail, though it is still getting some 54 percent of the vote, suggesting that it may have life yet when more liberal segments of the state are tallied, and Amendment 3, which would give the outgoing governor more power to make judicial appointments, is a clear No, with 52 percent opposed. A constitutional amendment proposal needs at least 60 percent of the vote to pass.

As the state released amendment numbers, Flagler voters’ sentiment proved to mirror the state’s: Amendment 1 is passing with well over 70 percent of the vote, Amendment 2 was falling a few points short of the 60 percent margin of victory, polling at 57 percent, and Amendment 3 failed.

The Florida Division of Elections started reporting numbers at 8 p.m., when the state’s westernmost polls closed. Those numbers show Scott leading Crist by 1 point, with Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian candidate, getting 4 percent. Bondi, Putnam and Atwater have all won re-election.

george hanns flagler county commission district 5 candidate elections 2012 herb whitaker

George Hanns. (© FlaglerLive)

In a related development, the Flagler County Canvassing Board met tonight, as scheduled, and was done with all votes by 9 p.m., but it also voted to remove George Hanns from the board.

Judge Melissa Moore-Stens, who chairs the Canvassing Board, voted with Kimberle Weeks, the supervisor of elections, to remove Hanns after a Hanns quote appeared on a flyer, endorsing Meeker. (See the details here.) Hanns protested that the quote was not his, and Meeker admitted to including the quote in error: the words were not those of Hans, both Hans and Meeker said. But Moore-Stens, after reading an Attorney general’s opinion, agreed that the appearance of impropriety was enough to warrant Hanns’s removal.

County Commissioner Barbara Revels, the alternate to the commissioner’s seat, served in Hanns’s place. Hanns “doesn’t feel that it was right,” Revels said, and was “fairly outraged,” but, Revels said, Hanns is also “a gentleman in all respects,” and gave up his seat.

General Election 2014 Results: Flagler County's Local Races and State Races

Candidate and Race
Flagler School Board, District 2
John Fischer (incumbent)15,16246.04%
Janet McDonald17,77053.96%
Palm Coast City Council, District 2
Anne-Marie Shaffer11,32546.8%
Heidi Shipley12,87253.2%
Palm Coast City Council, District 4
Bill Lewis (incumbent)12,06649.37%
Steven Nobile 12,37450.63%
Flagler County Commission, District 2, Republican Primary
Frank Meeker (incumbent)20,87558.6%
Howard Holley14,74641.4%
Flagler County Commission, District 4, Republican Primary
Nate McLaughlin (incumbent)20,78260.27%
Denise Calderwood13,69939.73%
Circuit Judge, Group 20
Adam Warren103,936 (7792)46.13 (42.95%)
Kathy Weston121,391 (10409)53.87 (57.05%)
Governor and Lieutenant Governor
Rick Scott (incubent)2,566,836 (19,973))48.95 (52.82%)
Charlie Crist2,214,178 (15,978))46.11(42.25%)
Adrian Wyllie203,653 (1,388)3.88 (3.67%)
State Senate District 6, Republican Primary
John Thrasher (incumbent)83,161 (19,232)56.71 (52.54%)
Kathleen Trued55,874 (15,069)38.1 (41.17%)
Greg Feldman7,604 (2,302)5.19 (6.29%)
Constitutional Amendment No. 1
Yes3,424,015 (25,762)74.66 (70.7%)
No1,304,498 (10,675)25.34 (29.3%)
Constitutional Amendment No. 2
Yes3,040,014 (20,471)57.11 (54.38%)
No2,282,769 (17,171)42.89 (45.62%)
Constitutional Amendment No. 3
Yes2,355,769 (17,099)47.87
No2,565,758 (18,344)52.13
Grand Haven CDD, Seat 5
George Amandola65038.62%
Tom Lawrence103361.38%
Commissioner of Agriculture
Adam Putnam 3,065,694 (22,213)59.54 (61.52%)
Thaddeus Hamilton2,082,993 (13,892)40.46 (38.48%)
Chief Financial Officer
Jeff Atwater3,008,825 (21,875)58.97 (60.57%)
William Rankin2,017,086 (14,243)40.13 (39.43%)
Attorney General
Pam Bondi (incumbent)2,892,720 (22,771)56.04 (61.08%)
George Sheldon2,119,292 (13,393)41.05 (35.93%)
Bill Wohlsifer150,239 (1,114)2.91 (2.99%)
Representative in Congress District 6
Ron DeSantis (incumbent)136,821 (21,614)61.55 (59.18%)
David Cox85,488 (14,911)38.45 (40.82%)
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. Statewide tallies will not be available until after 8 p.m.

The sun finally set on Election Day 2014. (© FlaglerLive)

The sun finally set on Election Day 2014. (© FlaglerLive)

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28 Responses for “Commission Incumbents Meeker and McLaughlin Win, McDonald Beats Fischer for School Board, Shipley and Nobile Win Palm Coast; Scott Wins, Pot Busts”

  1. Nancy N says:

    Janet McDonald on the school board…just another reason for me to be glad we’ve pulled our daughter out of Flagler Schools and put her in Florida Virtual. I’d say that this county deserves what it gets but unfortunately the real losers are going to be the kids.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck with that

    • George B says:

      Nancy N, John Fischer is an honorable man and has been a champion for our schools. For those who elected Ms. McDonald, this now gives Dennis McDonald and his Reagans a defacto seat on our school board. D. McDonald and Reagans are straining for relevance after his and their many losses in this election. He will enjoy a new outlet for his destructive schemes. There is good news in this for county and city govt. He will now focus on tearing apart the schools from inside and might lay off picking on county and city for a while. An unfortunate election outcome. GB

      • Nancy N says:

        I totally agree George! I am very concerned about the possibly influence of the RRRC philosophy on the school district and am so glad that my daughter won’t be caught up in whatever insanity ensues.

        John Fischer is a friend and while he and I frequently don’t agree on policy, he is definitely a good man who cares more about doing the right thing for the kids than about politics. We need more of that.

    • John Smallberries says:

      The fact that plagiarism isn’t enough to disqualify a candidate from running for school board is enough for us to not place our kids anywhere near flagler schools.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just curious, why would you say that?

  2. confidential says:

    The real losers are all the Flagler taxpayers were incumbents won! Mrs. Mrs. McDonald a real plus on the school board! Congratulations to the lady

  3. Joe says:

    53% voted but 100% will complain!!!!

  4. confidential says:

    Still not enough voters in mid term elections…the results are obvious! People only vote in the presidential’s and still only 40% of Americans vote! So they get what they deserve for not getting out to vote.

  5. bill says:

    Happy with most of the results but would have liked some shake up in the County Commission

  6. ScotchRox says:

    The balance of power has shifted to the Republicans in the US Senate and the House.

    There is now a glimmer of HOPE for the next few years…

  7. brian says:

    well at least she has a good background in the education system . i cant say that for the rest of the board.

  8. Rob says:

    The only solace I can find in the results of this election are that now there should be enough Palm Coast town councilors who will get rid of the red light cameras. No doubt Jon Netts will do all he can to keep them. Maybe just maybe we can: get a new town manager, close that money losing golf course, close that money losing tennis center and do something the current do nothing town council has done. Focus on developing living wage paying jobs in this city. Initial seed money can come from the golf course and tennis center subsidy..

  9. carol bennett says:

    Same commissioners, what a sad story.

  10. GY says:

    Waiting with baited breath to see what Gov. Scott does for the middle class & Seniors.

  11. tulip says:

    Well, in 2 years Ericksen, Hahns and Revels will be up for relection. That is another chance to vote out the incumbents, although supposedly Hahns is not going to run again. However, people tend to vote with the same ol same ol.

  12. Silvereed says:

    Florida overwhelmingly voted for its medical marijuana Amendment 2. It passed in every county, even Suwanee where five votes made the difference. But Florida’s constitutional threshold of 60 percent was just too high a hurdle for a Southern state to clear, falling just short at 57.6 percent.

    • Tampa Native says:

      The threshold is 60% so that laws like this do not get added to the Constitution, which should be hard to change. This is a matter for the legislature. Now that our Republican State Legislature sees this what a majority of the people want, let them make a law. LOL. Oh, that’s right Rick Scott does not favor it, good luck with that veto power.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The voters have spoken–and we can blame ourselves for getting the government we deserve. The one saving grace will be watching the Republicans mess up so badly AGAIN that they will lose in 2016. The balls in YOUR court, Conservatives! Let’s see you try to run with it…hopefully, not totally off the cliff with the rest of us in tow.

  14. Why we, as a nation, made up of 70% of peope who believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our savior, would replace His message of Love, Hope, and Grace with a message of big bang evolutionary happenstance in a desire to have freedom from God in our schools and government is just so odd. 70% of us all have one profound and simple thing in common to bring some sanity back to this country when we understand God’s real meaning of Grace.

    American has fallen from Grace. Not becuase of it’s sin, but beucase of it’s decision to ignore God’s gift of Rightesousness (true grace) in Christ Jesus. We can’t keep eating from the “Tree of he Knowledge of Good and Evil” in Genesis on our own human effort without God’s promised gift of the Holy Spirit. It has always been disaterous from Adam and Eve on and the same temptation and pattern just keeps playing itself out over andf over and over manifesting itself as “Knowledge is Power” in this day and age. We, I, all of us, will just keep mucking things up without the gift of God’s Holy Spirit Jesus died on the cross to give back to us. HIs righteousness is a gift when we run to it simply acepting our inability to operate without HIm the one who hold every single star and planet we live on in the palm of his hand at this very moment. Wow!

    What has our nation been relying on?

    a.) “and a beast (government & politics) rose up (was created) out of the sea (the people of the earth)”

    b.) “And the government wil be upon His (Jesus) shoulders.”

    The pattern has just kept repeating itself over and over and over through the ages.

    Come Lord Jesus come! We want the government to be upon your shoulders, not ours!

  15. John F. Pollinger says:

    A person’s character is defined by their behavior. Congratulations Heidi

  16. Nancy N says:

    I love how Ms Weeks thinks that a typo in a campaign flyer and an ethics accusation are grounds to remove people from the Canvassing Board but apparently not a criminal investigation that is directly related to events that occurred at a Canvassing Board meeting.

    Apparently, it’s all about the “appearance” of impropriety unless that appearance is her own.

  17. Bob says:

    It’s hard to believe that City Commissioners get re-elected after all the shady deals and approvals for red light cameras! Not to mention the new city hall that 80 % of us didn’t want. It’s amazing that people still vote for them.

    • Will says:

      Bob, your view of “us” is a bit overblown. Some of “us” are thrilled that the new City Hall is finally under construction.

      And, think about what you write. Two new city council members were elected who don’t like the red light cameras, one more than the other. No city council member was re-elected.

      And your comment about “shady deals” is just silly. You can track the discussion, agreements, and contracts. Why would you allege something improper?

  18. Robert Lewis says:

    I am so excited that Anne Marie Shaffer lost. The people of Palm Coast saw through her evil façade and returned a strongly worded NO for her hosting a position of authority. I wish her luck in the future – and hope that she finds peace in her heart and stops acting vindictive.

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