published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Dist. 55 primary going to recount
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Elections usually don't get much closer than the one between Cary Pigman and Randy Johnson.
The heated District 55 State House of Representatives Republican primary will be decided by less than three dozen votes.
"Dr. Pigman won Highlands County (4,643 votes to 3,463) but Johnson won the other three counties in the district -- Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Glades. If a race falls within the guidelines of a total difference that is one-half of one percent of the ballots cast, then it becomes and automatic recount," Supervisor of Elections Joe Campbell explained Thursday. "Usually when it's a difference of 60 votes, that falls within the guidelines. Their race came down to 30 votes."
Pigman is in the lead, but that could change after the recount.
The recount must be directed by the state. Campbell and his office are unable to proceed with the recount until the directive is issued by the state.
"They'll probably give that directive Friday afternoon so we will spend all day Saturday doing the recount," said Campbell.
The unofficial results are as close to the official results as possible Campbell expects. The numbers are not expected to change more than one or two votes in possibly two races.
The total number of ballots cast 11,106 in Highlands County out of 60,818 registered voters.
The winners of the other Highlands County primaries:
-- Congress Representative District 17: Tom Rooney, (6,333 votes) defeated Joe Arnold (1,605 votes).
-- U.S. Senate (Republican): Connie Mack (3,878) defeated Dave Weldon (1,545) and Deon Long (57), George Lemieux (215), Marielena Stuart (676) and Mike McCallister (1,267).
-- U.S. Senate (Democrat): Bill Nelson (1,681) defeated Glenn Burkett (731).
-- Superintendent of Schools: Wally Cox (4,537) defeated Pep Hutchinson (1,651) and Roberta Peck (1,820).
-- Supervisor of Elections: Penny Ogg (3,631) defeated Susie Bishop (2,642) and David Flowers (1,789).
-- County Commissioner District 1: Jim Books (4,133) defeated Will Bennett (3,447).
-- County Commissioner District 3: Ron Handley (4,508) defeated Jeri Canale (2,172) and Nadine Elliott-Tedstone (1,059)
-- School Board District 3: Jan Shoop (6,798) defeated Mary Ann Lewis (3,720). Shoop is elected to the school board since she has no opponent in the general election.
- 10th Circuit Judge Group 7: Christine Trakas Thornhill (4,782) defeated Larry Helms (2,138) and William "Bill" Sites (2,752).
_ 10th Circuit Judge Group 27: Catherine L. Combee (5,215) defeated Mark Kaylor (4,332).
The Nov. 6 general elections will pit primary winners against their opponents.
General elections campaigns are as follows:
-- Nelson versus Mack for the U.S. Senate.
-- Rooney versus William Bronson for Congress Representative District 17.
-- Pigman/Johnson winner versus Crystal Drake for State Representative District 55.
-- Cox versus Rebecca Fleck for Superintendent of Schools.
-- Ogg versus Jed Secory for Supervisor of Elections.
-- Brooks versus Sally Ann Mowery for County Commissioner District 1.
-- Handley versus Michael Stone for County Commissioner District 3.
Other campaigns on the November ballot are:
-- Greg Harris versus Greg Smith for County Commissioner District 5.
-- Sheriff Susan Benton versus Candido (Candi) Garcia for Highlands County Sheriff .
Election results may be found on Supervisor of Elections website at www.votehighlands.com/.
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