Joan Anthony says she’s excited about ‘serving everyone’ as a new circuit judge.
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
“I am excited! We fought a good race and didn’t do any negative campaigning. I thank God. I thank my campaign staff, including the workers and volunteers,’’ the attorney told the Daytona Times.
‘Honor and a privilege’
Anthony (58 percent) defeated attorney Dan Hilbert (42 percent). She becomes the second African American woman elected as a 7th Judicial Circuit Court judge and the first to hold the Group 14 seat.
The circuit includes Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties.
“It’s an honor and a privilege…I am going to be serving everyone. I will be a judge to all people,” Anthony said.
Alicia Washington was elected to the Group 27 seat during the August primary election.
Anthony prides her team on running a clean race.
“I am a Christian woman. I had a good campaign manager. I just ran the race based on my experiences and qualifications,” Anthony noted.
Record overall turnout
In Volusia County, voter turnout was at a record 77 percent with more than 307,000 ballots cast. The previous record was 75 percent in the 2008 general election.
Vote-by-mail totals were 143,546 and 112,532 voted during early voting. Before Tuesday, voter turnout was over 58 percent.
Wheeler keeps seat
For the Volusia County Council District 2 seat, incumbent, Billie Wheeler (51 percent) edged Danny Fuqua (49 percent).
As of the Daytona Times’ Wednesday deadline, there was no plan for a recount.
“I had a good campaign team. I thank them for their hard work. I ran a strong and clean race. I am upbeat. If there is a recount, I’ll be interested in the results. But, if not, things stand. I am willing to support my opponent and move Volusia County forward,” Fuqua stated.
Other Black candidates also fell short.
For the Florida State House of Representatives District 26 seat, Republican incumbent Elizabeth Fetterhoff (58 percent) defeated former office holder Patrick Henry, a Democrat (42 percent). In the 2018 midterm, Fetterhoff edged Henry by just 61 votes.
Anita Burnette (60 percent) defeat- ed incumbent Ida Duncan Wright (40 percent) for Volusia County School Board District 2. Wright was in office for eight years and is the current chair.
“I congratulate my opponent. I am willing to do what I can to help her be successful. We ran a clean race. We ran a great race. The voters have spoken. I respect their wishes,’’ Wright said.
In the Daytona Beach commissioner Zone 2 race, incumbent Aaron Delgado (62 percent) was victorious over challenger Tony Servance (38 percent).
Servance said, “It was a race that I put my heart into. I care about my community. I care about Daytona Beach. This is not my last time race. I will continue to serve.”
Despite the lack of wins, a leader of the Volusia County Minority Elected Officials believes the races went well.
“I think we had some great candidates that ran great campaigns. I think we just came up short with minority turnout, especially in the District 2 races for school board and county council,’’ said Mario Davis, executive director of the Volusia County Minority Elected Officials.
Work is to be done for future campaigns.
“The community definitely needs to come together to see what it needs. Then we must find candidates that can get the resources to address those needs. The next two years will be critical,” Davis said.
New County Chair
In other races, Jeff Brower (58 percent) defeated current Volusia Councilwoman Deborah “Deb’’ Denys (42 percent) for Volusia County Chair.
R.J. Larizza (61 percent) was re-elected to state attorney for the 7th Judicial Circuit Court defeating Don Dempsey (39 percent).
Heather Post (59 percent) was re-elected for Volusia County Council District 4 over Barbara Bonarrigo (42 percent).
For Daytona Beach City Commissioner Zone 4, incumbent Robert Gilliland (40 percent) was defeated by challenger Stacy Cantu (60 percent).
The commission will have four women as Cantu joins three Black women on the council in Quanita May (Zone 3), Dannette Henry (Zone 5) and Paula Reed (Zone 6).
In New Smyrna Beach, Shyriaka “Shy’’ Morris (36 percent) fell short in trying to unseat Randy Hartman (64 percent) in the Zone 4 city commission race.
Residents in Volusia County also voted for the county to continue funding Environmental, Cultural, Historical & Outdoor Recreation (ECHO) grants for projects to improve the quality of life.
They also chose for the county to continue the Volusia Forever: Acquisition and Improvement of Environmental Sensitive Water Resource Protection and Outdoor Recreation Use where land can be purchased for water conservation and recreation use.
Complete election results can be found at www.volusiaelections.org.