BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
Jessica Davis, a career counselor for at-risk teenagers, made local history Tuesday night when she was elected the first African-American female to the DeLand City Commission’s District 3 seat.
Davis handily won the seat with 72.69 percent of the vote against Krystal Brown, who claimed 27.31 percent. Both Davis and Brown are Black. Brown gained national recognition last after her ex-husband, Marlon Brown, died after being hit by a DeLand police officer’s cruiser.
Davis provides GED instruction and work readiness skills for high school dropouts age 16-21.
“I feel confident, I feel great, and I look forward to serving DeLand,” she said Tuesday night.
In May, she told the Daytona Times that she was passionate about working with those that others wouldn’t take an interest in.
“I want to make sure people have a voice. I want people to have adequate housing so they aren’t homeless and to work with those who others may say are at risk,” she stated.
Too close to call
Official numbers for the primary were not available by the Daytona Times’ Wednesday night deadline. A state-mandated recount for the hotly contested Volusia County Council At-Large seat was under way.
In a race that was too close to call, frontrunner Joyce Cusack, the incumbent at-large council member and former House of Representatives member, has been guaranteed a spot on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Her contenders – longtime County Councilwoman Pat Northey and Deltona City Commissioner Webster Barnaby – were within a small margin of each other.
Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall announced plans for a machine recount and hand recount Wednesday because the margin is less than one quarter of one percent and the number of undervote, overvote and provisional ballots are less than that margin.
Cusack led the race with 35 percent of the vote. Northey finished with 32.6 percent and Barnaby with 32.4 percent. Northey was leading Barnaby by 153 votes.
Cusack will face whichever candidate of the two pulls ahead. Said Cusack upon the preliminary results, “I thank my supporters and I will continue to serve. We will see what happens.”
Polling problems surfaced Tuesday that were quickly corrected due to equipment and utility failures.
“When we delivered our equipment yesterday, four of the 125 precincts had no phone service and no power,” said McFall. “We also always have an issue in New Smyrna with clear lines.”
Percentages quoted in this article were accurate at the time of printing. Numbers may change following the recount.
Ruth Trager led the City of Daytona Beach Zone 1 Commission race with 47.46 percent of the vote against incumbent Carl Lentz IV, who came in second with 27.52 percent. He was trailed by Andrew Moore at 25.02 percent. Lentz will face Trager in November.
John Mica won the Republican primary for U.S. Representative District 7.
A Volusia County referendum extending a half-penny sales tax passed with 64 percent of the vote. The 15-year tax is to finance school security and technology capital improvements and construction of other school capital projects, including construction, additions, renovations and replacements.