SEBRING — Venus was not included in the precinct reports as of press time Tuesday night. By Wednesday, the Highlands County Supervisor of Elections website showed all of the 25 precincts had reported. However, the vote-by-mail ballots are not yet fully counted.
Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg said the results of the election are not yet official. Some of the mail-in ballot voters have to be contacted because of things like missing signatures or signatures that do not match. Ogg said the voters will be contacted “by any means” such as text, mail or phone to “cure” the ballots. Ogg said there are not many to be cured and she does not expect them to change the outcome of any races.
After the mail-in ballots are counted, a manual audit will be done and the final official total will be given on Thursday, Aug. 27.
Highlands County has 63,651 registered voters per the Supervisor of Elections Office. In total, 21,236 ballots were cast for a voter turnout of 33.36%.
The unofficial results of Tuesday’s voting are:
State Representative District 55
In Highlands County, Ned Hancock-R, had 44.36% with 6,185 votes and Kaylee Tuck-R, had 55.64% with 7,757 votes. The county race had a total of 13,942 votes.
In the district – which includes Glades, Highlands, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties – Hancock received a total 8,738 votes to Tuck’s 11,235. The breakdown of those votes: In Glades, Hancock received 558 votes and Tuck received 852; in Okeechobee, Hancock received 1,731 votes to Tuck’s 2,341; and in St. Lucie, Hancock had 264 votes and Tuck had 285.
Tuck will now face off with her Democratic opponent Linda Tripp of Labelle in November.
Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller
Don Elwell-R, had 35.68% and 7,382 votes.
Kyle Green-R, had 17.98% with 3,720 votes.
Jerome Kaszubowski- R, took 46.34% with 9,586 votes.
This race’s total votes were 20,688.
County Commission District 2
Shird Moore-R, had 31.89% and 6,405 votes.
Kathy Rapp-R, took 47.98% and had 9,635 votes.
Joedene Elizabeth Thayer had 20.13% with 4,042 votes.
The race had 20,082 votes in all.
County Commission District 3
Jeff Carlson-R, had 47.96% and 6,502 votes.
Scott A. Kirouac-R, earned 52.04% with 7,054.
A total of 13,556 were cast in this race.
Kirouac will now face Democratic candidate Bobbie Smith-Powell in the November election.
County Commission District 5
Chris Campbell-R, took 36.39% and 7,356 votes.
Greg Harris-R, had 28.46% with 5,752 votes.
Vicki Pontius-R, earned 35.15% and had 7,105 votes.
The race’s total votes were 20,213.
Campbell said Wednesday he wanted to thank the voters of Highlands County for putting him in office and trusting in his abilities to serve as their county commissioner.
Harris served 10 years on the commission and was the only incumbent seeking reelection.
Three precincts had committeeman/committeewoman which is rare, according to Ogg. A precinct committeeman/woman is a leader for the political party in the precinct they represent. The precinct can have one committee person for each 1,000 people within the precinct.
According to Florida State Statutes, a precinct committeeman/woman is elected for a four-year term in the primary election in each year a presidential election is held. That person’s role is to serve in their precinct as an ambassador for their political party.
In Highlands County, only three precincts in Sebring have a precinct committeeman/woman.
Those results were as follows:
Precinct Committeewoman Precinct 5
Michelle D. Backus-D, took 37.84% with 249 votes.
Janice McCarthy-D, earned 32.67% and 215 votes.
Patricia Mary Myers-D, had 29.48% with 194 votes.
There were 658 votes in all for this race.
Precinct Committeeman Precinct 8
Neal T. Golden-D, had 25.81% and 32 votes.
Mark Wilson-D, took 74.19% with 92 votes.
The race had 124 votes.
Precinct Committeewoman Precinct 24
Mildred B. Grime-D, earned 55.09% and 119 votes.
Roxie W. McMillon-D, had 44.91% with 97 votes.
In total, the race had 216 votes.
Ogg said she was very pleased with the election.
“The election was smooth and I was glad for the turnout whether it was early voting or by mail or in person. The election office is here if anyone needs us, just call,” Ogg said.