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Nearly 30 percent of the registered voters in Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties cast their ballots in Tuesday’s primary election with mail-in and early voting upping overall numbers. Voting brought in a new sheriff in St. Johns County, three runoffs for the Palm Coast City Council in Flagler County and one race still up in the air in Putnam County.
In Putnam County, first-time candidate Matt Reynolds took the three-way race for Clerk of Court and Comptroller with 48 percent of the vote. Putnam County Property Appraiser Tim Parker retained his job after getting more than 76 percent of the vote. Neither Reynolds nor Parker face challengers in November. District 3 County Commissioner Terry Turner won the race for his seat with 49.45 percent of the vote. He will face two opponents in November. Nail-biting race of the night honors went to the District 5 Commission race which finished with an 83 vote difference and a provisional ballot count set for today. Paul Adamczyk is highest vote getter with 30.01 percent of the vote. Incumbent Buddy Goddard had 29.02 percent in the four-man race. That’s a race where you may see a recount.
The three-way race for Palatka City Commission ended with top vote getters Willie Jones and David Parsons. They’ll face off in the November election. The third candidate — former commissioner Allegra Kitchens — announced Tuesday night she was asking her supporters to vote for Parsons in the general election.
With 69.4 percent of the vote Rob Hardwick became Republican candidate for St. Johns Sheriff beating out Chris Strickland. He faces a write-in candidate in November but is easily expected to win. Anthony Coleman will fill the District 2 School Board seat, beating Nick Graham for the seat that became open after longtime board member Tommy Allen announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. In an upset, Christopher Whitehurst took 65.7 percent of the Republican vote for the District 1 seat on the St. Johns County Commission beating incumbent Jimmy Johns. He’ll face a Democrat challenger in the general election.
In Flagler County David Sullivan kept his District 3 Flagler County Commission Seat. In District 5 incumbent Donald O’Brien won the Republican primary and will face two challengers in November. Nonpartisan races for the Flagler School board saw incumbent Colleen Walsh-Conklin keep her District 3 seat. Jill Rena Woolbright took District 1 and in District 5 challenger Cheryl Massaro won over incumbent Maria Barbosa. Nonpartisan races for the Palm Coast City Council saw Mayor Milissa Holland leading with 31 percent of the vote trailed by Alan Lowe with 27 percent. They’ll face a runoff. Ed Danko and Sims Jones will be in a runoff for Palm Coast City Council Seat 1. Seat 3 Incumbent Nickolas Klufas with 40 percent of the vote also appears headed into a runoff with Cornelia Manfre.
Three coronavirus related deaths were reported Tuesday by the Florida Health Department in St. Johns County. That brings death total there to 50. In addition, 43 new coronavirus cases were reported in St. Johns bringing total number of cases since counting began in March to 4,021. Flagler County reported six new cases, bringing their total to 1,170. In Putnam County 11 new coronavirus cases and two transfers reported Tuesday bring the case total to 1,624. As teachers returned to classrooms Monday in Putnam County the school district and Miller Middle School in Crescent City remembered Dean Elias Ramirez who died last week from coronavirus. The 47-year-old Army veteran had taught at three schools in the district before moving up to dean in 2018.
Heavy rains, lightning strikes and wind swept into Putnam County Tuesday afternoon bringing 4.5 inches of rain and possibly putting a damper on some voter turnouts. Trees were reported down in several areas. In Welaka fishermen reported the wind and sudden rise in water washed fish up into yards along the St. Johns River.
Mark it on your calendar – Thursday is World Mosquito Day. Health officials are reminding people to practice the five Ds including avoiding being outdoors at dusk and dawn, dress in clothes covering most of your skin, use repellants containing up to 30 percent DEET and drain standing water from containers outdoors.
This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.