Mayor elected to a third term; other Black candidates do well in primary.
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry was re-elected for a third, four-year term during the primary on Aug. 18 in a history-making election.
Henry garnered a little over 50 percent of the vote defeating Ken Strickland (31 percent) and Sherrise Boyd (19 percent).
A vote recount was conducted by the Volusia County Canvassing Board on Aug. 21 and Henry was still declared the winner because he received 50 percent of the vote. A statement on the Volusia elections website from Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis shows that Henry received 6,102 votes (50.11%); Strickland, 3,796 (31.17 %); and Boyd, 2,279 (18.72%).
“I’m excited about it and relieved that it’s over. This was the most intense of all campaigns. It was hard to campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic,” Henry told the Daytona Times.
He made history in 2012 becoming the first Black man elected as the city’s mayor. Yvonne Scarlett Golden was the first Black and served from 2003-2006.
Henry also will be the first Black mayor elected to a third term. He also is the second longest-tenured mayor behind Larry Kelly (1974-1993).
“I haven’t thought about the part of making history as an African American, but I was aware of the second longest tenure,” Henry responded.
Brother wins too
Henry’s brother, Patrick, won the Florida House of Representatives District 26 Democratic primary over Evans Smith, receiving 65 percent of the vote.
Patrick Henry is attempting to regain the seat in November against incumbent Republican Elizabeth Fetterhoff, who edged him in 2018.
“It’s a really good start. We got a lot of work to do to win come November. I am looking forward to campaigning and getting back to work,” he said.
Smith responded, “This was my first election. I appreciate Midtown, Spring Hill and District 26 for the opportunity to serve and bring our issues to the forefront. There is still a lot of work to be done.”
Other local wins
Alicia Washington, a Black woman, received 52 percent of the vote, in her circuit judge race. She was elected in the 7th Judicial Circuit Group 27, defeating Bryan Robert Rendizo. She becomes the first Black female circuit judge.
Matt Metz was elected public defender in the 7th Judicial Circuit Court, beating out George Burden and Anne Marie Gennusa. All three candidates are Republican.
Will Roberts was elected Volusia County tax collector over David Santiago. Roberts received 60 percent of the vote.
Chris Miller was re-elected circuit judge in the 7th Judicial Circuit 6, defeating challenger Nora Hall.
Mike Orfinger was reelected circuit judge in the 7th Judicial Group 6 over Anna Handy.
There will be several local races that will require runoffs in the Nov. 3 general elections.
For Volusia County Chair, Jeff Brower (44 percent) faces Volusia County Councilwoman Deborah ‘Deb’ Denys (40 percent). Gerald Whitman (14 percent) didn’t make the cut.
Incumbent School Board District 2 member Ida Duncan-Wright (39 percent) faces Anita Burnett (48 percent). Andre Grant (13 percent) came up short.
“I just want God’s will to be done. She’s a good opponent. I just have to run my race. This is not my first time. I am looking forward to the opportunity,” said Wright.
Grant added, “I appreciate those who did vote for me and wanted change. The other voters choose those who have no classroom experience.”
Both Grant and Wright are African American. Grant is now backing Wright for the job.
He said, “I encourage my supporters to get behind Wright in order to move forward and do what’s best for our students.”
‘Did very well’
For 7th Judicial Circuit Judge Group 14, Joan Anthony (34 percent) a Black woman, will face off with Dan Hilbert (37 percent). Mary Ellen Osterndorf (30 percent) came up short.
“Black candidates did do very well. We are very confident all Black candidates moving forward will secure seats in the general election,” said Mario Davis, executive director of Volusia County Minority Elected Officials.
As of the Daytona Times’ Wednesday deadline, the official results had not been released by Volusia’s supervisor of elections office.
Low Black turnout
Unofficial results show 106,633 voters cast ballots out of the 381,826 registered. Voter turnout was around 28 percent but higher than previous primaries.
“We appreciate those who did vote. However, I am very discouraged by Black voter turnout. Our hope is that all Black residents see the value and historical significance in voting not only in the primary but the general election alike,” Davis said.
Volusia County/Daytona Beach NAACP President Cynthia Slater also noticed it.
“Yesterday around 4 p.m., there at four predominately African American precincts, there were fewer than 1,000 votes. That’s very low,” she told the Times on Wednesday.
Weather could have played a role. Heavy thunderstorms roared into the county on Tuesday afternoon.
During early voting, 10,327 cast ballots in Volusia County from Aug. 8-15. There were 66,159 absentee/vote-by mail ballots submitted by Aug. 15, according to the supervisor of elections website.
Complete election results can be found at www.volusiaelections.org.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5. The early voting period will run Oct. 19-Nov.1. The deadline to request a mailin ballot is Oct. 24.