Vanessa Baugh will be on the Manatee County Commission for four more years.
“I’m overwhelmed and humbled,” Baugh said Tuesday night. “For District 5, for the people to vote for me to represent them for another four years is very humbling for me.”
The District 5 commissioner represents Lakewood Ranch, Myakka City and other parts of East Manatee. The Republican incumbent was challenged by Republican Kathleen Grant.
With all 14 precincts reporting, Baugh, who was first elected in 2012, received 7,352 votes, or 53.1 percent. Grant received 6,491, or 46.9 percent.
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Since both candidates are Republicans, all voters living in the district, including Democrats and unaffiliated voters, were able to cast ballots in the race, which was decided Tuesday.
“I’m very pleased with how well we did,” Grant said Tuesday night. “I was running against the incumbent with a lot of special interests and chairman of the board. I’m very proud of the race we ran. I still want to stay involved. I still hope to do whatever I can do to make a difference.”
Baugh said Grant ran a great race.
“She was a hard worker, and my hope is that she will stay involved in the community because she can make a difference, so I look forward to working with her on some endeavors in the future and I salute her in a hard race,” Baugh said.
With roads and congestion a top issue for District 5, Baugh said “anything that we can do to start new roads or widen roads would help the situation.”
“That is going to be on the top of my list,” Baugh said.