The voters in the island cities have spoken

All three cities reported the results of the municipal elections Nov. 7 with an average 37.75 percent voter turnout, including vote-by-mail and poll results.

In Anna Maria it’s status quo.

But Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach are facing leadership changes.

The polls closed at 7 p.m. and, unexpectedly for candidates and pundits, the Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Office posted results within 20 minutes— at 7:20:18 p.m.

The three incumbents have been returned to office in Anna Maria, where Carol Carter, Doug Copeland and Dale Woodland won a challenge from political newcomer Laurie Higgins.

Political newcomer Jim Kihm was the top vote-getter in Holmes Beach with incumbent Carol Sustek coming in second. They have won two-year seats on the Holmes Beach commission. Also new to the political scene, Rick Hurst won a two-year term.

Incumbent Pat Morton — a top vote-getter in past elections — came in fourth and will retain his seat for a one-year term. Incumbent Marvin Grossman was defeated in his quest for another term.

In Bradenton Beach, John Chappie challenged for the mayor’s seat and won. He bested incumbent Bill Shearon 207-171.

For Bradenton Beach commissioner, newcomer Randy White came in first with 205 votes, as compared to 169 votes for incumbent Ralph Cole. White and Chappie will take their seats later this month in a swearing-in ceremony with Jake Spooner, who had no opposition for his seat.

For the Bradenton Beach charter amendment vote, all three proposals passed. The ward seats are a thing of the past and all future elections will be for candidates who live anywhere in the city and represent voters citywide. The required residency for candidates for city commission is reduced to 12 months, and no longer will the commission be allowed to make changes to the city charter by resolution. That task will fall ultimately to the electorate.

Stay tuned for final vote tallies in all the races.

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