Anna Maria: Barford is mayor; Mattick, Miller take commission seats
Fran Barford, the former mayor of Temple Terrace, will now occupy the same role in Anna Maria, handily defeating former planning and zoning board chairman Tom Turner, 698 to 261, in the Nov. 7 election for the mayor's post vacated by outgoing Mayor SueLynn.
The unofficial results posted at 7 p.m. at city hall showed Barford leading Turner by an election-clinching 437 votes.
Political newcomer Jo Ann Mattick led all three candidates in the race for two commission seats, garnering 604 votes. Incumbent Duke Miller prevailed by a narrow margin with 509 votes, while incumbent Linda Cramer fell to third with 487 votes.
The vote, according to early and unofficial returns, is:
- Barford, 73 percent.
- Turner, 27 percent.
- Cramer, 31 percent.
- Mattick, 37 percent.
- Miller, 31 percent.
If correct, the 959 ballots cast would represent a 67 percent voter turnout of the city's 1,429 registered voters, one of the largest ever in a non-presidential election year.
A number of voters said they waited until the last minute to make a decision for city commissioner, particularly after Miller and Mattick exchanged verbal blows during the final few weeks of the campaign.
Mattick accused Miller of supporting the coastal overlay district and construction of 10,000-square-foot homes, while Miller claimed Mattick was sponsored by commercial interests and wanted to enlarge the city's business area.
Barford was gracious in victory, thanking the voters for their generous support.
"I'm just thrilled right now," said Barford. "I am glad of all the support and the strong mandate to administer the city."
Mattick said she had "reached out to the community and they opened up. I was willing to take a stand on issues. I didn't just say what people wanted to hear. I think I'm the people's choice." She also thanked all her supporters.
Miller was cautious about victory, preferring to wait until the absentee and early votes are counted.
Cramer said before the votes were counted that the turnout was excellent and, win or lose, she was just happy to be a part of the process.
Once the election is certified, Barford, Miller and Mattick will be sworn into office at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16. SueLynn remains in office until the swearing-in ceremony.