MANATEE -- Incumbent Larry Bustle retained his position on the Manatee County Commission, defeating newcomer Corie Holmes in the District 1 seat election Tuesday.
Bustle, the Republican candidate, captured 61.8 percent, or 19,769 votes, while Democrat Holmes received 12,239 votes, or 38.2 percent.
The retired Air Force career officer and former mayor of Palmetto said he was very happy with the results.
"I really think the community believes in me and what I said I wanted to do," he said Tuesday night. "They like what I've done" the past four years.
Bustle said he is excited to be serving on the commission for another term and for what can be accomplished.
"Getting out of the recession, we can get the community working again," he said.
Holmes, a private investigator and former Manatee County sheriff's deputy, said his first run for a political office was a good experience.
"For the first time it was a good race," Holmes said. "It's a lot of work, but I met a lot of people. I think I did a good job."
The election for the four-year term was hotly contested, with Bustle first having to defeat political newcomer Nathaniel Leonard in the Republican primary election in August.
He then had to face Holmes in Tuesday's general election.
Bustle was elected to the county commission in 2008 after serving six years as mayor of Palmetto.
He will be sworn in for the four-year term with the winners of the two other county commission seats that were on the ballot, Betsy Benac and Vanessa Baugh, at the Nov. 22 meeting.
The salary for county commissioners in 2012 is $75,268.