Manatee fire districts elect board members

rdymond@bradenton.comNovember 7, 2012 

MANATEE -- The 24,000 parcel owners in the 26-square-mile Cedar Hammock Fire District in Manatee County retained four-term incumbent Commissioner Stephen Litschauer for Seat 5 Tuesday.

Litschauer's 10,981 to 3,705 victory over challenger Emil Plichta in Tuesday's general rlection was part of a very busy night for Manatee County fire districts with seven contests and four incumbents losing their seats.

"Right now, like most other governments, we face funding and taxation issues within Cedar Hammock, said Litschauer, who had 74.8 percent of the vote to his challenger's 25.2 percent.

Seat 3 in Cedar Hammock was expected to be contest between incumbent Dee Bennett and challenger Edward Stanley, but Stanley died months prior to the election, said Bob Sweat, Manatee County Supervisor of Elections.

"Dee Bennett automatically won and we won't show the results of Cedar Hammock Seat 3 in our results," Sweat said Tuesday.

In the race for East Manatee Fire District Seat 4, incumbent James D. Bon Ami beat challenger Alison Breiter Center by 14,262 to 7,186 votes.

The battle for North River Fire District Seat 6 went to challenger Scott R. Smith over incumbent Bebo Smith. Scott Smith took 58.2 percent of the vote with Bebo Smith capturing 41.78.

The race for Parrish Fire District Seat 1 also ended up with a challenger besting an incumbent. David Agee got 3,028, or 60.6 percent of the vote while incumbent Sawyer L. Ramsey had 1,937 vote, or 39.4 percent.

In Parrish Fire District Seat 2, incumbent Edward G. Chitty beat challenger Caleb J, Hynson. Chitty recorded 3,321 votes, or 67 percent while Hynson got 1,635 votes, for 33 percent.

Southern Manatee Fire District Seat 2 saw incumbent Robert A. Kulchar Jr. fall. He was defeated by challenger Daniel J. Center who had 8,908 votes, or 46.8 percent. A second challenger, John R. Howell, scored 5,275 votes, or 27.7 percent.

Kulchar Jr. came in last with 4,867 votes, for 25.5 percent.

In Southern Manatee Fire District Seat 4, another challenger, James J. Cena, ousted incumbent John J. Barry III. Center earned 11,781 votes to Barry's 7,431. Cena had 61.3 percent of the vote to Barry's 38.7.

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