Democracy 2020

Voters approve half-cent sales tax for schools; provide strong support for Trump

By Don Coble don@opcfla.com
Posted 11/4/20

CLAY COUNTY – Voters turned out in record numbers in Clay County, and they overwhelmingly decided to repair local schools, send Kat Cammack to the U.S. House of Representatives and Jennifer Bradley …

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Democracy 2020

Voters approve half-cent sales tax for schools; provide strong support for Trump

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – Voters turned out in record numbers in Clay County, and they overwhelmingly decided to repair local schools, send Kat Cammack to the U.S. House of Representatives and Jennifer Bradley to the Florida Senate and to keep President Donald Trump in the White House.

The numbers were impressive: 124,920 registered voters in the county cast ballots. Overall, their decisions were decisive.

As expected, voters supported Trump’s re-election more than two-to-one against all other candidates. They also backed Cammack’s election to Ted Yoho’s 3rd District seat in the U.S. House, Sam Garrison’s bid to replace Travis Cummings in the District 18 seat in the Florida House and Bradley’s campaign to replace her husband Rob Bradley as the District 5 representative in the Florida Senate.

Republican Bobby Payne defeated Kimberly Dugger for the District 19 seat in the Florid House. The district is comprised of portions of Putnam, Clay and Union counties.

They also put Beth Clark on the Clay County School Board. The real estate agent and first-time candidate defeated longtime school board Carol Studdard for the District 2 seat. Studdard had been on the board since 1992.

One of the most-important issues was a proposed half-cent sales tax to provide money for more than $300 million in overdue repairs and another $300 million to build new schools.

“This was huge for our district,” Superintendent David Broskie said. “I’m extremely pleased the voters support public education in Clay County. The additional revenue is tremendously needed in our district.”

More than 56% of county voters approved the tax. The final tally was 66,957-52,419.

Broskie also defeated write-in candidate Tyler Groves by winning 96.53% of the vote.

While the state amendment to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2026 was approved by more than two million votes throughout Florida, Clay residents voted against it by 6%.

The number of voters surpassed the 2016 count by more than 17,000, Supervisor of Elections Chris Chambless said.

“We were inundated with last minute drop-offs by the United State Postal Service and individuals dropping off their ballots right at 7 [p.m.],” Chambless said.

Chambless said the margins of victories are big enough in every race to avoid a recount.

Nearly 61% of the county had already cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s election. Of the 64,730 registered voters, 99,740 had already made their decisions and voted during early voting and vote by mail.

According to numbers posted by the Clay County Supervisor of Elections Office, Republicans made up nearly 59% of the early votes with 58,807. Democrats cast 23,146 ballots, while non-partisans had 16,438 and 1,349 listed as “other.”

Those figures only reflect the number of registered voters from each party who voted early, not who they supported.

By 1 p.m. on Election Day, the vote totals were at 114,103, which means more than 14,000 voted in the first six hours and more than 10,000 additional ballots were cast in the final six hours.

There were no issues reported at any of the county’s 67 precincts.

The official results won’t be completed for another week, Chambless said.

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