SEBASTIAN – Richard Gillmor and Jim Hill will return to the Sebastian City Council dais after the majority of city voters chose them to continue representing the citizens.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Gillmor said of the lead both he and Hill had over the challengers prior to final tally of votes. “Most everybody here in Sebastian likes the direction this council is going,” Gillmor added. “They want people to play nice.”
He said that he saw the citizens’ votes as a “little bit of both” – a vote in favor of how he and Hill have conducted themselves on the dais and a vote of less confidence that the other candidates would behave likewise.
Gillmor said that he believes voters are tired of the negativity that surrounds campaigns.
“They don’t want to hear that anymore,” he said.
Attempts to reach Hill Tuesday night were unsuccessful.
Gillmor and Hill handily won their seats back on the dais with 3,811 and 3,655 votes respectively.
Their challengers’ votes ranged from 1,154 to 1,421. They finished in the following order:
Gillmor – 3,811
Hill – 3,655
Damien Gilliams – 1,421
Joe Scozzari – 1,324
Harvey Wheeler – 1,243
David DeVirgilio – 1,154
“Naturally, I’m disappointed,” said Wheeler after the evidence was clear he would not be serving the city on the council.
He vowed that he would “continue to keep an eye on things” within the city and be involved in government.
Wheeler said that, though he’s not willing to commit yet, he is not ruling out the possibility of running again for Sebastian City Council next year.
One lesson he learned from the five months he campaigned, Wheeler said is that he needs to be more aggressive – that he was “too gentlemanly” this go-round.
He said that he’d like to thank the more than 1,200 people who voted for him.
“I promise not to let them down,” Wheeler said.
More than 12,600 ballots were cast in the Sebastian election – nearly evenly split between early and absentee votes and day-of votes.
Two precincts in Sebastian were the last to be counted – 203 and 204 at Sebastian Christian Church on Day Drive.
There were reports of more than 100 voters standing in line outside the polling location at 7 p.m. due to a backup inside. There were not enough ballots and voters had to choose between using a touch screen machine or vote a provisional ballot.
Supervisor of Elections Kay Clem said that many precincts reported being short on ballots, mostly due to “spoilage” – ballots that voters made mistakes on and had to start over.