Historic City News editor Michael Gold spoke with St Augustine Beach consultant, Rachael Bennett, during an election-night returns event sponsored by Florida Senator John Thrasher and held at the Council on Aging River House yesterday evening.
This is Bennett’s first run for elected office and was an excellent test of her political metal; having just survived a hotly-contested primary where she had to unseat commission chairman, Ken Bryan, as well as Tea Party favorite, Alan Kelso.
“I sincerely thank all those who believed in me and encouraged me, and to everyone who cast their vote for me,” Bennett said. “I am humbled, I am honored, and I look forward to having the opportunity to give the very best that I have to make this fabulous county even better.”
In last night’s General Election, Bennett, a 58-year-old self-employed land planner, defeated 76-year-old Randy Brunson who previously was elected to a four-year term on the St Johns County Airport Authority.
Both Bennett and Brunson are Republicans; however, in order to be sure that only registered Republicans voted in the Republican Primary Election, and to assure his spot on the November General Election ballot, Brunson ran without party affiliation.
Brunson told Historic City News that he believes having the (REP) behind her name, helped his opponent in the General Election. Registered Republican voters outnumber Democrats in St Johns County about two-to-one.
Brunson, who is retired, says that he will remain active in community affairs, charitable events and civic service for which he is best known. “I wish my opponent the very best and hope she will be a good steward of the responsibilities that are being entrusted to her.”