Behind weeks of waving signs alongside Holmes Beach streets, a newcomer has moved smartly into a city commission seat.
Kim Rash and incumbent Pat Morton won the two open commission seats among three candidates Nov. 6, with Rash garnering 1,127 votes to Morton’s 1,116. Don Purvis was the odd man out, with 887 votes.
Morton, with 15 years of service on the commission, won his eighth two-year term.
“It’s been a pleasure to serve for 15 years. So, I’m looking forward to another two years,” Morton said in an interview Nov. 7. “I’m delighted to do it, and I want to thank my constituents out here that still have faith in me.”
Morton said his priority is to work on bike paths that would link to Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach.
“I enjoy this kind of work and, especially when you’ve been here as long as I have, somebody must be doing a good job,” Morton said. “As long as you’re running, they’ll put you in if you’re doing the right job. If you don’t, they’ll toss you right out on the street.
“I feel very blessed to have the citizens we have that are pleased with what I’m doing,” Morton continued.
Rash moved to Holmes Beach in 2001 from Kentucky. He maintains rental properties in Kentucky and Florida. Winning a seat with 36 percent of the vote, he will serve his first term in elected office.
“It’s a pretty exciting moment,” he said in an interview Nov. 7. “We worked hard for it.”
Promising to serve as a voice of the residents throughout his campaign, Rash said he has heard their concerns, and now must figure out how he will carry solutions forward.
He credited his involvement with the community for his Election Day victory.
“Probably the most important reason I won is because the last 12 years I’ve spent my life down here helping people and solving problems for those people,” Rash said. “I think the real reason I won is because I’ve been a good neighbor, a good friend and a good churchgoer.”
Rash and Morton will serve two-year terms for a salary of $500 a month.
Purvis, a New Orleans native and eight-year Holmes Beach resident, is coping with the Election Day loss.
“I guess I’m disappointed. I was looking forward to serving our city and our residents and the community at large,” Purvis said in an interview Nov. 10. “So, I’m disappointed with that, but I’m pleased that I went through the process and it was a good experience.”
Purvis will continue serving on the board for the Center of Anna Maria Island, but is looking to become more involved with the community.
Since he got out of teaching and coaching, Purvis said, being involved became “part of who I am. I enjoy doing things to help others, and if I’m not doing those things I feel like I’m not using my abilities and gifts.”
Of the 2,810 eligible voters, 1,014 turned out in Holmes Beach for the Nov. 6 election. The turnout was 36 percent.
In the 2014 midterm, the turnout, with 2,700 registered voters, was 53.35 percent.
Morton and Rash were to be sworn in at a ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at city hall, 6001 Marina Drive, at press time for The Islander.
However, city clerk Stacey Johnston said the swearing-in may be delayed.
Johnston issued a notice Nov. 9 providing that a statewide recount of ballots could delay the SOE from finalizing and certifying the election before Nov. 19.