Rubio, Rutherford, Shoar among big election winners

Recount to be held in District 3 County Commission match-up


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford and St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar were among the big winners Tuesday night in the Aug. 30 primary election.

Rubio, who campaigned in St. Augustine and Jacksonville over the weekend, easily won the Republican primary for U.S. senator, receiving 1,029,000 votes or 72 percent of the Republican ballots. On the Democratic ballot, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy received 665,053 votes, or 59 percent of the Democratic votes. Joining Rubio and Murphy on the Nov. 8 final election ballot will be Libertarian Paul Stanton, who received 2,944 votes.

In the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw in the 4th Congressional District, Rutherford secured the Republican nomination, receiving 37,390 votes and 39 percent of the vote. State Rep. Lake Ray came in second on the Republican side with 19,307 votes, followed by Hanz Tanzler (18,282) and County Commissioner Bill McClure (9,570). Rutherford will face Democrat David Bruderly and Gary Koniz (no party affiliation) in the final election.

David Shoar easily won re-election to his fourth term as St. Johns County sheriff, capturing nearly 86 percent of the vote (23,731) against Debra Maynard (3,916). 

“This was a clear indication to me that our citizens are pleased with the way in which we are addressing crime and public safety in our community,” Shoar said. “The truth is that in reality, the election was not a validation for me personally, but rather a validation for all the men and women who serve day in and day out at the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.  Every week I receive feedback from numerous members of our community thanking our deputies and civilian staff for treating them with dignity and respect and for going the extra mile to help them.” 

Hunter Conrad, meanwhile, won re-election to the office of Clerk of Court, winning 15,241 votes to George Lareau’s 10,275.

County Commission

In the race for Board of County Commissioners, District 1 Commissioner Jimmy Johns retained his commission seat, besting Al Abbatiello 63 to 37 percent, with Johns garnering 22,295 votes to Abbatiello’s 13,327. Henry Dean was the winner in District 5, receiving 13,750 votes against Dottie Acosta with 10,790. 

Yet it was the District 3 race that proved to be the most competitive, with Paul Waldron winning the contest by just nine votes over Jerry Cameron, 12,468 to 12,459. According to the Supervisor of Elections office, a machine recount was scheduled to be held Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. to confirm which candidate will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Due to the entry of write-in candidates in both the District 3 and District 5 County Commission races, the primary winners of those contests will appear on the Nov. 8 final election ballot.

In the races for 7th Judicial Circuit, Stasia Warren (64,267) topped Sebrina Slack (52,361) in the Group 4 race, while Scott DuPont won re-election in Group 10, receiving 62 percent of the vote (86,053) against Malcolm Anthony (52,214). 

The Group 13 race went to challenger Kathleen McNeilly, who bested incumbent David Hood 80,481 to 63,727, while incumbent Howard McGillin was the victor in the Group 17 contest, receiving 75,624 to Linda Gaustad’s 63,853.

Ponte Vedra MSD

For the first time in 16 years, residents of the Ponte Vedra Municipal Service District (MSD) had an opportunity to vote for trustees. In the race for Seat 2, Catherine “Kitty” Switkes received 65 percent of the vote (484) against Dominic Sanfilippo (258). Seat 4 went to John Cellucci, who garnered 72 percent of the vote (514) against John “Jake” O’Keefe (204), while Brad Wester topped incumbent Adam Hammer to win Seat 6, capturing 72 percent of the ballots case with 534 votes to Hammer’s 203.

In other election contests, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis won the Republican contest to reclaim his seat with 38,286 votes, while Democrat Bill McCullough topped the Democratic ticket in that race with 15,095.

County Election Results 


Shoar 23,731

Maynard  3,916

Clerk of Court

Conrad 15,241

Lareau 10,275

County Commission

District 1

Johns 22,295

Abbatiello 13,327

District 3

Waldron 12,468

Cameron 12,459

District 5

Dean 13,750

Acosta 10,790

Circuit Judge

Group 4

Warren 64,267

Slack 52,361

Group 10

DuPont 86,053

Anthony 52,214

Group 13

McNeilly 80,481

Hood 63,727

Group 17

McGillin 75,624

Gaustad 63,853

Ponte Vedra MSD

Seat 2

Switkes 484

Sanfilippo 258

Seat 4

Cellucci 514

O’Keefe 204

Seat 6

Wester  534

Hammer 203