Nancy Shaver has faced ugly political campaigns in the past. Fought with rumor and innuendo as well as outright lies during her last two terms, now faced with two political opponents and drowning in a sea of negative postcard mailing, Shaver’s third run for mayor was nothing new.
There were only 3,765 ballots cast by about 14,000 registered St Augustine voters in the race for Seat 3; the two-year term seat filled with the city’s highest-ranking elected public official. When the dust settled this time, however, Shaver turned in ballots from 2,147 city voters.
“The 57.03% win is enough that I will not have to continue to campaign for the next three months,” Shaver told Historic City News editor Michael Gold this evening. “We will have a new commission in January and I will be on it. But, there is still the race for Seat 5 in November. And, I still have some agenda items that I would like to complete before I begin my next term.”Mayor Shaver
Only 8.58-percent of the votes went to former Anastasia Mosquito Control Board member Jackie Rock, who irrevocably resigned halfway through her term to become an unsuccessful mayoral candidate. Rock became an “also ran” — but not a “spoiler”. If she had dropped out of the race after she realized that she could not be physically present while her opponents were campaigning, her 323 votes would not have changed the outcome of the election.
Despite controversial support from a Gainesville black activist, Ronald Rawls, Jr, whose wife did well in her own campaign for county court judge in Alachua County, Rock’s campaign was dead on arrival. She left for Portugal and other European destinations soon after filing to run. She left her campaign in the hands of an 18-year-old Black Lives Matter activist, Daniel Devon Carter; who she had legally appointed her campaign treasurer.
Bill McClure, on the other hand, was a former vice-chairman of the St Johns County Commission, serving on that commission for four years and still backed by the local Republican Party in this non-partisan race for mayor. He reached 34.4% of the voters, collecting 1,295 votes. According to information contained in McClure’s financial disclosures, he spent thousands of campaign dollars to send a series of negative postcards to city voters. It did not bear fruit.
Altogether, McClure reported spending campaign funds totaling $39,390.61. That works out to a cost of $30.42 per vote. That’s high for a two-year position that only pays a yearly salary of $22,555.94. By comparison, Shaver paid about $11.88 per vote, and won the election in the Primary with more than 50% of the ballots cast.
“Thank you all very much for your support and love!” McClure wrote on facebook after the voting was over and the totals began coming in. “Although we were not victorious tonight I am grateful for your friendship and will continue to fight for our great city!”