John Chappie defeated incumbent Mayor Bill Shearon Tuesday to earn a second stint as the mayor of Bradenton Beach.
Chappie, who stood at the Bradenton Beach polling station throughout the day, tallied 232 votes, 77 more than Shearon, to win the race. Chappie previously served as mayor from 2001-07.
One other local incumbent was unseated in Manatee County, Holmes Beach Commissioner Marvin Grossman.
Turnout was good for an off-year election, said Chappie, a former Manatee County commissioner and current vice mayor of Bradenton Beach. He said that now that the campaign has ended, the tough work begins.
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“This has been my home for 44 years, and I welcome the opportunity to get back to working for the community,” Chappie said.
Shearon was disappointed by the results, “but that’s the way it goes,” he said. The next step in his career is full retirement.
“I realized it was gonna be close. I thought it’d be closer, but voters voted, and I wish Mayor-elect Chappie the best in the world,” Shearon said.
But Shearon is no stranger to close votes. In May 2015, he was the subject of a recall vote, and that November, he tied with mayoral candidate Jack Clarke and prevailed by pulling an ace of clubs from a deck shuffled by Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Michael Bennett.
T. Randy White won the seat of Bradenton Beach’s Ward 3 commissioner against incumbent Ralph Cole, who was elected in 2015. Ward 3 runs from 17th Street North to Second Street North.
Three charter amendments put forth by the Concerned Neighbors of Bradenton Beach were approved by voters. The amendments eliminate the ward system in the municipality, lower the required residency for election candidates from 24 months to 12 months and prohibit changes to the city charter without a “duly authorized election.”
In Holmes Beach, Grossman, who was elected in 2012, is the only incumbent commissioner to lose his seat to a newcomer in what turned out to be a narrow race. Grossman was defeated by Pat Morton, the city’s current longest-serving elected official, who earned just 36 more votes.
Both newcomers, Rick Hurst and Jim Kihm won spots on the commission and will serve for two years. However, Morton will serve one-year due to earning the least amount of votes.
Anna Maria keeps incumbents
Incumbent commissioners held on to their seats in the city of Anna Maria. Carol Carter, Doug Copeland and Dale Woodland all handily beat out Laurie Jo Higgins, who previously told the Bradenton Herald that she was throwing herself “into the lion’s den.”
St. Petersburg mayor re-elected
Incumbent St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman won another close race against former Mayor Rick Baker, earning just a little more than 51 percent of the vote. Baker previously as mayor from 2001 to 2010.