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.
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.
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
|Flagler School Board, District 2|
|John Fischer (incumbent)||15,162||46.04%|
|Palm Coast City Council, District 2|
|Palm Coast City Council, District 4|
|Bill Lewis (incumbent)||12,066||49.37%|
|Flagler County Commission, District 2, Republican Primary|
|Frank Meeker (incumbent)||20,875||58.6%|
|Flagler County Commission, District 4, Republican Primary|
|Nate McLaughlin (incumbent)||20,782||60.27%|
|Circuit Judge, Group 20|
|Adam Warren||103,936 (7792)||46.13 (42.95%)|
|Kathy Weston||121,391 (10409)||53.87 (57.05%)|
|Governor and Lieutenant Governor|
|Rick Scott (incubent)||2,566,836 (19,973))||48.95 (52.82%)|
|Charlie Crist||2,214,178 (15,978))||46.11(42.25%)|
|Adrian Wyllie||203,653 (1,388)||3.88 (3.67%)|
|State Senate District 6, Republican Primary|
|John Thrasher (incumbent)||83,161 (19,232)||56.71 (52.54%)|
|Kathleen Trued||55,874 (15,069)||38.1 (41.17%)|
|Greg Feldman||7,604 (2,302)||5.19 (6.29%)|
|Constitutional Amendment No. 1|
|Yes||3,424,015 (25,762)||74.66 (70.7%)|
|No||1,304,498 (10,675)||25.34 (29.3%)|
|Constitutional Amendment No. 2|
|Yes||3,040,014 (20,471)||57.11 (54.38%)|
|No||2,282,769 (17,171)||42.89 (45.62%)|
|Constitutional Amendment No. 3|
|Grand Haven CDD, Seat 5|
|Commissioner of Agriculture|
|Adam Putnam||3,065,694 (22,213)||59.54 (61.52%)|
|Thaddeus Hamilton||2,082,993 (13,892)||40.46 (38.48%)|
|Chief Financial Officer|
|Jeff Atwater||3,008,825 (21,875)||58.97 (60.57%)|
|William Rankin||2,017,086 (14,243)||40.13 (39.43%)|
|Pam Bondi (incumbent)||2,892,720 (22,771)||56.04 (61.08%)|
|George Sheldon||2,119,292 (13,393)||41.05 (35.93%)|
|Bill Wohlsifer||150,239 (1,114)||2.91 (2.99%)|
|Representative in Congress District 6|
|Ron DeSantis (incumbent)||136,821 (21,614)||61.55 (59.18%)|
|David Cox||85,488 (14,911)||38.45 (40.82%)|