BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Residents in this area’s Black community were pleased with election results although GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney edged President Barack Obama by 1.22 percent in the county and defeated the incumbent by 2,853 votes.
“I think its time to keep moving forward and finish some of the things that the president started. With another term, I hope that he can accomplish more,” commented resident Sam Shields.
Echoed Daytona Beach resident Shyriaka Morris, “I am excited. This is a great day not only in the history of Black America but all of America. I think that the people made the right choice. There was a lot of racism that came out in this campaign. It’s a shame that we still have so much today.’’
Happy with Henry
History also was made when educator, businessman and former Daytona Beach Commissioner Derrick Henry was elected Daytona’s first Black male mayor by defeating City Commissioner Edith Shelley.
“It is good to have an educated Black man on top. This makes history and is a turning point in our city. There are still stereotypes associated with Black men, including drug dealers, deadbeat dads and doing nothing positive. Hopefully, he will help and inspire many Black men,” expressed Morris.
Shields added, “I think that Shelley was a great candidate but from my experiences and conversations with Henry, he seemed to be concerned about the youngsters and others’ well being. He seems likes he is always available. He faced his adversity a few years back with dignity.”
Other races that had importance in Daytona’s Black community were the Zone 6 city commissioner race where Paula Reed won over Cathy Washington by 17 percent of the vote.
In the Volusia County Council Seat 2 race, incumbent Joshua Wagner defeated former Ponce Inlet Mayor Nancy Epps by 4 percent. In the County Chair race, Army veteran Jason Davis topped former educator Carl Persis by 10 percent.
Diane Matousek retained her position as Volusia County Clerk of Court by soundly defeating challenger Christine Sanders with a 25 percent edge.
Christopher Kelly beat out Adam Warren by 26 percent for County Circuit Court Judge Group 4.
Shields also took an interest in the race for Volusia County Sheriff where incumbent Ben Johnson handedly defeated challenger and former Seminole County deputy Wendell Bradford by over 50 percent.
“I voted for Johnson actually. I looked at both of their agendas and goals. It seems to me that Johnson’s experience put him over the top. Also, in my mind the sheriff’s department here isn’t bad,” Shields explained.