In a race that could have been decided between the two candidates last night, had the field not been corrupted with a spoiler, political newcomer Nancy Shaver of Lincolnville shows St. Augustinians that there is hope for a more fiscally sound, resident-oriented, customer service driven community when she drew all but 29 votes as the man who has held the reigns at the City Commission table for the past six years.
Mayor Joe Boles, who has been a commissioner for eight years, holds a seat that was modified by charter referendum to allow the holder to be mayor for an unlimited number of two-year stretches; a process that many St Augustine voters say needs to be returned to the same rotating appointment process used by county commissioners, beach commissioners, and the City of Hastings.
Until Davis Shores was counted, the final of the five city precincts where Boles and his wife Jane live, Shaver actually had a better than 60-vote lead. As it wound up, in total, Boles collected 1,030 votes to Shaver 1,001.
Ken Bryan, who ran, and lost, as a Democrat, then switched parties and won, one term, as a Republican county commissioner, then lost his re-election bid in the Primary, and now has lost, a third time, as a candidate without party affiliation, raised only 571 votes — votes that would have allowed either credible candidate to earn 50% of the votes cast, plus 1 — declaring a winner and precluding the need to run again in November.
“I’m just tickled to be in a runoff,” 62-year-old Boles said. “Shaver has run a big grass roots campaign.”
“I plan to win in November,” 67-year-old Shaver said. “I plan to win because I love this place and St. Augustine deserves real representation. The primary vote showed the people who vote here are looking for the right kind of future for the next 450 years.”
The St Johns County voter registration book closes October 6, 2014; this is the last day to register, change party affiliation, or change the address on your voter record prior to the election. The General Election is open to all voters – regardless of party affiliation. Early voting will be held October 20, 2014 through November 1, 2014. The 2014 General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. On Election Day, the polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.