Betsy Benac will be on the Manatee County Commission for four more years.
Benac, who was first elected in 2012, was re-elected Tuesday to the District 7 at-large seat. The Republican incumbent was challenged by Jack Richardson, who is a registered Republican but ran with no party affiliation.
Benac earned 104,920 votes, meaning 65 percent of voters supported her. Richardson brought in 56,997 votes, or 35 percent.
“Wow, it’s great,” Benac said at her election party at Pier 22. “You run on your record when you run for re-election so I am really humbled and honored that people chose me to represent them for another four years. It’s a great feeling.”
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On Tuesday night, Richardson said he ran a good race.
“I was expecting more votes,” he said. “I’m also very surprised about the half-cent infrastructure tax passing, very surprised about that. I wanted to make some changes and may in the future but it looks like the voters have voted in every single incumbent so nothing is going to change. At least not in the next four years.”
In October, Benac said she wanted to continue what she’s started during her first term.
“I think we made good progress in moving our economy and our county forward,” Benac said. “We’ve been able to accomplish bringing many jobs. We’ve been able to protect the quality of life. We’ve been able to keep our taxes lower. I think we need to continue to work hard to protect those things and expand emergency services.”