MANATEE -- Incumbent Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore cruised to a big re-election win Tuesday in the District 6 commission race against challenger Terri Wonder.
Whitmore, a Republican, had 65,202 votes, while Wonder, a Democrat, had 43,950, according to figures from the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections website.
Only some mail-in ballots remained to be counted.
Whitmore, of Holmes Beach, was partying at Pier 22 restaurant in Bradenton with a crowd of supporters and several former and sitting county commissioners.
"I'm just very happy," she said. "It was a good race, and I look forward to another four years of getting things done in Manatee County and improving the economic area around Manatee County more than four years ago."
"I look forward to work
ing with Port Manatee, recruiting business from all over the world, getting the work done; so I'm very excited," Whitmore said.
Wonder, of Bradenton, was a newcomer to politics, but she said she will not just disappear. She said she plans to continue her work "protecting and preserving what is right in this county."
"I made incredible progress, given what I was up against in a countywide race," she said. "I had a lot of help from people around the county, and felt really good about what we were able to accomplish, and did it without having to tell lies about my opponent."
She vowed to continue to fight for quiet, safe neighborhoods, natural resources and citizens' rights.
Among the focal points of the race were environmental issues, qualifications for office, and voting habits.
"Whitmore is someone who had a measurable, attainable goals," said Lori Melton, a tax accountant who was celebrating the election results at Whitmore's party. "Wonder did not present that in any of her debates, she was all about her."
Palmetto City Commisioner Charles B. Smith won over write-in candidate Troy Thomas.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.