Election: Destin, Mary Esther, Valparaiso residents vote in mayoral, city council races
OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) —
It's Election Day in Okaloosa County.
Destin, Mary Esther, and Valparaiso residents had the opportunity to vote in city council and mayoral races.
The races in Destin have been especially heated with candidates raising almost $170,000.
More than 4,600 residents cast their ballots in the 2018 municipal election.
It's almost 30 percent voter turnout according to the Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections.
The city of Destin will see a new mayor, but the incumbents on the city council will be able to hold their seats.
Candidate Gary Jarvis edges out incumbent mayor Scott Fischer 52 percent to 48 percent.
"Well, it was real brutal and I really, really hated to see the mudslinging, but the two people that were attacked the most managed to win," Fischer said.
Fischer is talking about council members Prebble Q. Ramswell and Rodney Braden who were re-elected to the council after a heated election.
After what some candidates called a "very contentious election" they're glad it's over so they can get to work.
Ramswell said, "It shows that there's faith in me and that the people believe that I am indeed representing them to the best of my ability."
Also, Braden said, "I'm glad it's over. I'm tired of the smear campaign. I hate that I had to go through it. I hate that my family had to go through it, but we prevailed in the end."
Skip Overdier will join them as the new council member.
The incumbents want to work with Overdier on issues that impact Destin residents.
"A fair and objective look at all the issues," Ramswell said. "I know Skip from the rotary club. We were in rotary together and I think he will be a terrific councilman. I'm honored to be serving with him and I look forward to all of us weighing all the issues together."
Mayor Fischer says Destin is at a crossroads but wishes the council success representing the growing community.
"I'm going to regret not being able to take part in but the council was pretty - remained intact. I think they're headed in a very positive direction," Fischer said.
Jarvis could not be reached for comment.
Destin does operate under a non-voting weak mayor system.
Jarvis would serve as a tiebreaker in case the council is deadlocked.
For more election results, click here.