Franklin County voters Tuesday set in motion a superintendent race for November that promises to be a fascinating study in contrasts, a contest that will pit an energetic man in his early 80s, a veteran principal and administrator, against a dynamic woman in her late 30s, an elementary school teacher in the midst of her career.

In a primary election that saw a roughly 53 percent turnout among the county’s 7,137 registered voters, the Republicans turned to Frank Stephens and the Democrats chose Traci Moses as their parties’ standard-bearers, both of whom won their primary contests comfortably.

They’ll be joined in a three-way race in November by Stephanie Howze Jones, who is running without party affiliation.

In the non-partisan races for school board, two long-serving incumbents, Teresa Ann Martin and George Thompson both won handily over their opponents. Pamela Watson Shiver, seeking re-election after serving one term, was vanquished in a close race by Carl Whaley, reversing the results of four years ago when she defeated him, also by a close margin.

“I got out and I fought hard,” said Whaley. “I stand for our children, the children of Franklin County, and I’m going to do what best for our kids and our schools to bring us into an A school.”

Whaley secured 376 votes, or 54 percent, to Shiver’s 322, or 46 percent. He won handily in the Carrabelle section of District 5, 249 votes to her 127, while she defeated him in Eastpoint, 175 to 147.

He credited his active campaigning with the win. “I think that had a lot to do with it. It’s just a lot of hard work,” he said.

Martin won her fourth consecutive term with a mighty total, swamping challenger Barry Hand in Apalachicola’s District 3 with more than 71 percent of the votes, 483, to his 196 ballots.

“I just believe that the people have spoken,” she said. “First and foremost I’d like to thank God because God gives the promotion.

“I’d like to thank Barry Hand and his supporters for bringing out the best of me. They make me great,” she said. “I’d like to thank all of my supporters from near and far for supporting me.

“I will continue to work and support education, to take our school system to where it can excel, and reach our goals,” said Martin.

In District 1, which spans St. George Island and much of Eastpoint, Thompson won his third consecutive term by nearly 60 percent of the vote, swamping challenger Melonie Inzetta in Eastpoint 349-144, while she bested him 186-144 on St. George Island.

“I was very pleased with the final results,” he said. “First, I want to thank my wife, my son and daughter-in-law and everybody else that supported me. I want to thank all the voters in District 1.

“We worked hard in this campaign, I’m just really happy,” said Thompson. “I’m really looking forward to working with a new superintendent and I just think the people will go at it in November and make the right decision on that.”

Thompson said he planned to support Moses, who won nearly 55 percent of the Democratic votes in a three-way contest against Sue Summers, who finished with 28 percent, and Robert Murray, who had 17 percent.

In all, Moses’ 1,199 votes topped the total number of votes cast in the GOP primary for superintendent. Of the 1021 Republican ballots, Stephens won 56 percent of them, against 44 percent cast for his opponent. Homer “Mac” McMillan.

“The sun has been awful hot these last couple months," joked Stephens. "Now it's one step at a time."

He promised to wage a vigorous campaign.

“I’m excited about it,” said Stephens. “I’ve realized what I have to do to get ready for the next contest, so I’m going to do better the next one. I realize it’s another two months of hard work ahead of me. It’s not going to be easy but I think I can do it.

“I know how I can turn that school into a place where everyone in the county will be proud of it. It’s my dream, that’s my ambition, that’s my goal,” he said.

Moses, surrounded by supporters at the elections office, many wearing her trademark red shirts, alos promised an energetic campaign.

“I am very humbled by the outpouring of support from the people of Franklin County," said Moses. “I want to thank my family and supporters for all of their help in campaigning with and for me. This means that our county is ready for a positive change in our school district and I will be a champion for our kids’ education and their future.

“I ask everyone for your continued support on November 8,” she said.

 Turnout best in Eastpoint, Apalachicola

 Supervisor of Elections Pinki Jackel had results tabulated for all eight precincts within 10 minutes after the polls closes at 7 p.m.

“I’m happy with the turnout,” she said. “We were busy in Eastpoint, Carrabelle and Apalachicola. Everything went very well. I’m pleased with how the election ran; the state gave us high marks.”

The storngest turnouts were seen among Eastpoint Republicans, which were nearly 61 percent, and Apalachicola Democrats, which were better than 60 percent.

Jackel said a few voters even switched their party registration after voting Tuesday right at the polls. Changes to registration, or even new registrations, can be made up until 29 days before the Nov. 8 general election.

“We go to work tomorrow morning, on preparing the ballot for the November election,” she said. “We’re hoping for a great turnout.”

Franklin County Republicans gave better than 76 percent for Marco Rubio, who won his statewide campaign for the GOP nod for U.S. senator. County Dems gave liked Patrick Murphy, he got 40 percent of their vote, and Rubio and Murphy will square off in November.

County Republicans narrowly preferred Neal Dunn over Mary Thomas for Congress, 42 to 40 percent, but Dunn emerged the victor throughout the 2nd Congressional District. He’ll face off against Democrat Walter Dartland, who narrowly defeated Steve Crapps, but in Franklin County, Dem voters preferred Crapps 51 to 49 percent.

Franklin County overwhelmingly backed the constitutional amendment to provide tax credits for investment in solar equipment, preferring the measure, which passed statewide, with 70 percent support.

 

Franklin County voters Tuesday set in motion a superintendent race for November that promises to be a fascinating study in contrasts, a contest that will see an energetic man in his early 80s, a veteran principal and administrator, squaring off against a dynamic woman in her late 30s, an elementary school teacher in the midst of her career.

In a primary election that saw a roughly 50 percent turnout among the county’s 7,137 registered voters, the Republicans turned to Frank Stephens and the Democrats chose Traci Moses as their parties’ standard-bearers, both of whom won their primary contests comfortably.

They’ll be joined in a three-way race in November by Stephanie Howze Jones, who is running without party affiliation.

In the non-partisan races for school board, two long-serving incumbents, Teresa Ann Martin and George Thompson both won handily over their opponents. Pamela Watson Shiver, running for re-election after serving one term, was vanquished in a close race by Carl Whaley, turning around the results of four years ago when she defeated him, also by a close margin.

“I got out and I fought hard,” said Whaley. “I stand for our children, the children of Franklin County, and I’m going to do what best for our kids and our schools to bring us into an A school.”

Whaley secured 376 votes, or 54 percent, to Shiver’s 322, or 46 percent. He won handily in the Carrabelle section of District 5, 249 votes to her 127, while she defeated him in Eastpoint, 175 to 147.

He credited his active campaigning with the win. “I think that had a lot to do with it. It’s just a lot of hard work,” he said.

Martin won her fourth consecutive term with a mighty total, swamping challenger Barry Hand in Apalachicola’s District 3 with more than 71 percent of the votes, 483 to his 196 ballots.

“I just believe that the people have spoken,” she said. “First and foremost I’d like to thank God because God gives the promotion.

“I’d like to thank Barry Hand and his supporters for bringing out the best of me. They make me great,” she said. “I’d like to thank all of my supporters from near and far for supporting me.

“I will continue to work and support education, to take our school system to where it can excel, and reach our goals,” said Martin.

In District 1, which spans St. George Island and much of Eastpoint, Thompson won his third consecutive term by nearly 60 percent of the vote, swamping challenger Melonie Inzetta in Eastpoint 349-144, while she bested him 186-144 on St. George Island.

“I was very pleased with the final results,” he said. “First, I want to thank my wife, my son and daughter-in-law and everybody else that supported me. I want to thank all the voters in District 1.

“We worked hard in this campaign, I’m just really happy,” said Thompson. “I’m really looking forward to working with a new superintendent and I just think the people will go at it in November and make the right decision on that.”

Thompson said he planned to support Moses, who won nearly 55 percent of the Democratic votes in a three-way contest against Sue Summers, who finished with 28 percent, and Robert Murray, who had 17 percent.

In all, Moses’ 1,199 votes topped the total number of votes cast in the GOP primary for superintendent. Of the 1021 Republican ballots, Stephens won 56 percent of them, against 44 percent cast for his opponent. Homer “Mac” McMillan.

“The sun has been awful hot these last couple months," joked Stephens. "Now it's one step at a time."

He promised to wage a vigorous campaign.

“I’m excited about it,” said Stephens. “I’ve realized what I have to do to get ready fro the next contest, so I’m going to do better the next one. I realize it’s another two months of hard work ahead of me. It’s not going to be easy but I think I can do it.

“I know how I can turn that school into a place where everyone in the county will be proud of it. Tt’s my dream, that’s my ambition, that’s my goal,” he said.

“I am very humbled by the outpouring of support from the people of Franklin County," said Moses. “I want to thank my family and supporters for all of their help in campaigning with and for me. This means that our county is ready for a positive change in our school district and I will be a champion for our kids’ education and their future.

“I ask everyone for your continued support on November 8,” she said.

Supervisor of Elections Pinki Jackel had results tabulated for all eight precincts within 10 minutes after the polls closes at 7 p.m.

“I’m happy with the turnout,” she said. “We were busy in Eastpoint, Carrabelle and Apalachicola. Everything went very well. I’m pleased with how the election ran. The state gave us high marks.”

Jackel said a few voters even switched their party registration after voting Tuesday right at the polls. Changes to registration, or even new registrations, can be made up until 29 days before the Nov. 8 general election.

“We go to work tomorrow morning, on preparing the ballot for the November election,” she said. “We’re hoping for a great turnout.”