County’s voter turnout is well over 60 percent
Unofficial election results posted Tuesday night by Supervisor of Elections Vicki P. Cannon showed Nassau County’s citizens responded to the countless reminders over the past few weeks to vote in the national midterm election, with a voter turnout of more than 60 percent.
The unofficial number of voters who cast ballots by mail, early, and in person was 41,437 or 62.03 percent of registered voters, according to the Supervisor of Elections’ website.
In the two local contests to represent citizens on the Fernandina Beach City Commission, Bradley M. Bean won a plurality of the citywide votes over Mike Lednovich for the Group 4 seat, with 45.72 percent of the vote to Lednovich’s 34.57 percent as of the press deadline. Incumbent Roy Smith got 19.72 percent. Bean and Lednovich will now meet in a runoff on Dec. 11. Incumbent City Commissioner Len Kreger won 66.82 percent of the vote to cruise by challenger Cason Zylinski for the Group 5 seat.
In the challenges to represent Nassau County as state representative, District 11, and state senator, District 4, early returns showed incumbent state Rep. Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, with 75.09 percent of the unofficial vote counted in Nassau County versus Fernandina Beach resident Nathcelly Leroy Rohrbaugh’s 24.91 percent. Incumbent State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, easily held off Democrat challenger Billee Bussard by 75.53 percent to 22.48 percent. Joanna Liberty Tavares garnered about 2 percent of the votes.
In an odd ballot entry for the District 4 seat on the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners, Republican Thomas Ford, already elected by default, appeared on the ballot above a blank line for a write-in candidate. Supervisor of Elections Vicki P. Cannon notified voters last month that “there was only one candidate who qualified as a write-in candidate and that write-in candidate withdrew from the race after the ballots were printed. Therefore, Thomas Ford, the only qualified candidate remaining in the race, is an unopposed candidate and is deemed to be elected to office.”
In the tight race for United States senator, with 16 percent of election returns counted across the state, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson had 51.8 percent of the votes and term-limited Republican Governor Rick Scott, Nelson’s challenger, had garnered 48.2 percent with a little over 5 million votes counted. Ballotpedia.org picked the race as one of “the top 15 in the nation to watch.”
Scott easily led Nelson in Nassau County, getting 73.31 percent of the vote with unofficial results from all precincts reporting.
The Scott-Nelson battle could set a record for fundraising in Senate races. The Orlando Sentinel reported that, “through mid-October, Scott, the outgoing Republican governor, had raised about $69 million for his Senate campaign, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Nelson, a Democrat seeking his fourth term in the Senate, had raised $28 million.”
In the race for the Congressional District 4 seat, incumbent Republican John J. Rutherford easily led Democratic candidate George “Ges” Selmont in Nassau County. Rutherford got 75.64 percent of the votes. District 4 covers Nassau, Duval and Baker counties. Rutherford was leading Selmont 64 percent to 34 percent in District 4 results with 16 percent of the votes counted as of 7:45 p.m. EST.
The contest to be the next governor of Florida, also one of the ballotpedia.org “top 15 races to watch,” was too close to call as of 7:45 p.m EST.
Republican Ron DeSantis and his running mate, Jeanette Nuñez, were locked in a battle with Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum and Chris King, with the Gillum ticket holding a slim lead of 50.8 percent to DeSantis’ 48 percent, with 15 percent of returns counted across the state.
The other four candidates, one in the Reform Party and three others with no party affiliation, were left eating the dust raised by the DeSantis-Gillum match. Florida has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1994, when incumbent Lawton Chiles won over Republican Jeb Bush.
Voters in Nassau County went for Republican Ashley Moody to be Florida’s next attorney general, Republican Jimmy Petronis to be the state’s new chief financial officer, and Republican Matt Caldwell to be Florida’s new commissioner of agriculture.
On the 12 questions about whether to amend the Florida Constitution to do everything from controlling gambling to ending dog racing, all 12 appeared to pass in Nassau County. Statewide results were too early to gauge by the press deadline.