By Debbie Carson, Online Editor
SEBASTIAN – Active community volunteer Don Wright became the newest member on the Sebastian City Council, replacing outgoing Councilwoman Dale Simchick. Both incumbents Andrea Coy and Eugene Wolff were voted back onto the council in Tuesday’s election, a neck-and-neck race in which they were separated by just 10 votes.
Wright said after his victory he believes he was elected because of his support for the city’s economic development and the tax abatement referendum, both of which were key parts in his campaign. “I’d like to see economic growth in Sebastian,” he said. “And have the town reach its potential. I also want to do whatever I can to improve the waterfront.”
Coy and Wolff expressed support of the tax abatement question on the ballot, citing it as one of many tools the city could use to attract new businesses and entice existing businesses to stay and expand. They also had voiced support for improving the city’s waterfront. Coy finished as the top vote-getter with 1,550 votes, while Wolff had 1,540.
The three candidates led the election since polls closed at 7 p.m. and the first ballots were counted and reported at 7:20 p.m. Up until the last votes, though, Wolff was leading over Coy and Wright.
The last batch of ballots pushed Coy over Wolff by just 10 votes.
The three candidates will be sworn in on Nov. 9 and will join Richard Gillmor and Jim Hill. The five will elect a mayor and vice mayor amongst themselves.
More than 8,500 voters turned out for the Sebastian race, though only about 3,000 voted on the referendum question.
Here’s how the voters voted:
Andrea Coy – 1,550
Eugene Wolff – 1,540
Don Wright – 1,389
Bob McPartlan – 1,052
Lisanne Robinson – 923
Joe Scozzari – 812
Al Paternoster – 802
David DeVirgilio – 457