Rutherford, Larizza, Stevenson win

St. Johns County voters support Republican candidates, incumbents

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As election results poured in Tuesday night, voters still didn’t know who the president would be for the next four years. But local results were all determined early on, and incumbent Republicans enjoyed large margins of victory.

In the race for U.S. representative, incumbent Republican John H. Rutherford received 61% of the votes across District 4 and easily prevailed over Democrat Donna Deegan. In St. Johns County, the margin was larger; Rutherford received 72% of the votes.

Republican R.J. Larizza was reelected as state attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit by a large margin over challenger Don Dempsey, who ran as a nonparty candidate. Larizza, the incumbent, received 65% of the votes over the four-county circuit. In St. Johns County, he did better, receiving 70% of the votes cast here.

Cyndi Stevenson, the incumbent state representative for District 17, was reelected by a large margin over challenger Dave Rogers, a Democrat. Republican Stevenson received 97,885 votes (68%) to Rogers’ 46,665 (32%).

In the state senator District 7 race, incumbent Republican Travis J. Hutson received 62% of the votes to Heather Hunter’s 38%. Again, Hutson did better in St. Johns County with 66%.

Rob Hardwick, the Republican candidate for St. Johns County sheriff, easily won in a landslide against write-in challenger Scott C. Boutwell. Hardwick received 139,768 votes (96%) to Boutwell’s 6,457 (4%).

In the race for St. Johns County commissioner for District 1, Republican Christian Whitehurst received 110,251 votes (66%) to Democrat Joe McAnarney’s 57,910 (34%).

In District 5, incumbent Republican County Commissioner Henry Dean received 117,622 (73%) to challenger Merrill Paul Roland’s 42,816 (27%). Roland ran as a nonparty candidate.

In the race for circuit judge for the 7th Circuit, the results were much closer, with Joan Anthony receiving 57% of the votes to Dan Hilbert’s 43%. The contest was even closer in St. Johns County, with Anthony receiving 53% of the vote to Hilbert’s 47%.

Anastasia Mosquito Control District seat 1 went to Catherine Brandhorst, who received 54,869 votes (40%). Challenger Tim Burton got 49,900 votes (37%) and Jan Cardia got 31,822 votes (23%).

Gina LeBlanc won the race for Anastasia Mosquito Control District seat 3, receiving 55,683 votes (41%). Challenger Howard G. McGaffney got 46,040 votes (34%) and Felicia Proia got 34,188 votes (25%).

Gayle Gardner was the winner in the race for Anastasia Mosquito Control District seat 5, receiving 64,269 votes (47.5%). Challenger Gary Howell got 52,160 votes (38.5%), and Ed Slavin got 18,886 votes (14%).

Robert E. Olson received 43,245 votes (33%) to win the race for St. Augustine-St. Johns County Airport Authority group 4. Samuel Nicholas Barresi got 35,500 votes (27%), Michael Henne got 32,777 votes (25%) and Austin Lee Lanteigne got 19,278 votes (15%).

In the race for St. Augustine-St. Johns County Airport Authority group 5, Reba J. Ludlow won with 62,381 votes (47%). Jerome Dion got 36,541 votes (28%), and Mark Alan Frazier got 32,500 votes (25%).

Nicole Crosby won the race for St. Johns Soil and Water Conservation District group 3, receiving 73,814 votes (54%). John “Bucky” Sykes received 62,770 votes (45%).

Charles C. Owen won the race for St. Johns Soil and Water Conservation District group 4, receiving 71,031 votes (53%). Brenda A. Stratton received 62,901 votes (47%).

AMENDMENTS

Florida voters approved Amendment 2, which will raise the minimum wage to $10 and hour in September and will increase it annually by a dollar per hour until it reaches $15. After 2026, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually for inflation. In St. Johns County, the amendment failed by 1,205 votes.

Amendment 1, approved overwhelmingly in St. Johns County, looked to be headed for passage statewide at press time. It would require citizenship to vote in Florida elections.

Amendment 3, which would open up primary elections for the legislature, governor and cabinet to all voters was approved in St. Johns County by a margin of 1,532 votes and appeared to be headed to fail statewide.

Amendment 4, which would require proposed constitutional amendments to be approved in two election cycles before passage, failed in St. Johns County by a margin of 937 votes. Statewide, it failed.

Amendment 5, which would expand the deadline to transfer “Save-Our-Homes” homestead exemptions from two years to three, was approved in St. Johns County by a wide margin. It also passed statewide.

Amendment 6, which would give a homestead property tax discount to spouses of disabled or deceased veterans, passed statewide and by a large margin in St. Johns County.

Concerning the presidential election, St. Johns County voters supported Donald Trump (63%) over Joe Biden (36%). Third-party candidates made up the difference.

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