Orlando, Warren in run-off election

Todd Chase is re-elected, but not Susan Bottcher

Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 4:24 p.m.

Annie Orlando and Helen Warren will face each other in a run-off election for the At-Large 2 seat on the Gainesville City Commission as a result of being the top two vote getters in the five-person race to replace outgoing Commissioner Thomas Hawkins, who could not run due to term limits.

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Candidate Annie Orlando.

Special to the Guardian

Warren received 4,751 votes, or 45.14 percent, and Orlando received 4,635 votes, or 44.04 percent in the election held Tuesday at Gainesville precincts. The run-off election will take place on April 8.

Pam Carpenter, Alachua County Supervisor of Elections, said election turnout was about 15 percent, adding that the exact percent was not available Tuesday night.

"This is about the usual turnout we see for city of Gainesville elections," said Carpenter, adding that there is normally a slight drop-off in voter turnout for run-off elections. "We are expecting something a little less than 15 percent voter turnout for the run-off, but we will see."

Also Tuesday, incumbent Todd Chase retained his District 2 seat on the City Commission, while Craig Carter defeated incumbent Susan Bottcher for the District 3 seat on the commission. Chase received 2,531 votes, or 56.94 percent, while challengers Sheryl Eddie received 1,388 votes, or 31.22 percent, and Cheri Brodeur received 526 votes, or 11.83 percent. Carter received 1,868 votes, or 52.59 percent, and Bottcher received 1,684 votes, or 47.40 percent.

In the race for the At-Large 2 seat, voting rounded out with Donald Shepherd Sr. receiving 521 votes, or 4.950 percent; Mark Venzke with 318 votes, or 3.021 percent, and Barbara Ann Ruth receiving 299 votes, or 2.841 percent.

Both Orlando and Warren said they are planning to build on the coalitions they established during the campaign.

"My plan is to keep my coalition together," said Orlando, owner of Atlas Screen Printing in southeast Gainesville. "We had a great team. It was a grassroots campaign without party support and we are going to seek help from the other campaigns ... and do our best."

Orlando has been endorsed by the Builders Association of North Central Florida, Fraternal Order of Police Gator Lodge No. 67, Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors, Gainesville Professional Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters Local 215 and the Suwannee–St. Johns Group Sierra Club.

Warren said her campaign will study the election results by precinct then formulate a plan to get more supporters.

"The main thing we will be doing to get ready for the run-off is to look at how the numbers came in from across the city and then focus on where we need to go back out and get more supporters," said Warren, a Gainesville Realtor. "We will look at where our support is and where we need to go to build more support because this race is really close."

Warren has been endorsed by the Alachua County Stonewall Democrats, Equality Florida, Human Rights Council of North Central Florida, Gainesville Citizens for Active Transportation, Gainesville Cycling Club and the North Central Florida Labor Council.

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