Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Holland Wins at Sports, Politics; He Coaches Paxon to Baseball Victory, Topples Warren Jones in Election

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Holland Wins at Sports, Politics; He Coaches Paxon to Baseball Victory, Topples Warren Jones in Election

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID DECAMP, The Times-Union

The toughest part of Jerry Holland's election victory Tuesday night was making it to his campaign headquarters while the food was fresh.

Holland, a Republican, comfortably beat Democrat Warren Jones to become Duval County supervisor of elections. He coached Paxon to a 7-1 victory over Middleburg in a high school baseball game shortly before taking Jones' concession.

"I timed it well because I didn't want to go in until we had a final indication," said Holland, a Jacksonville City Council member.

Holland, 50, will replace the retired John Stafford, a Republican who quit in October, citing months of poor health amid protests over the elections office handling of early voting. The term lasts to mid-2007 for a job paying $119,000 a year.

Despite a 14 percent voter turnout, the race was important because of past election problems. The 27,000 rejected votes in 2000 remains a stain on local elections, even with new equipment and often smoother performances.

Holland will depart the council on April 15 and take over as supervisor for interim chief Bill Scheu, who did not run.

Holland used a well-worn formula for victory: superior fund-raising and the county's Republican tilt. He raised $241,000 to Jones' $73,000, allowing Holland more ability to advertise and rung a larger campaign organization.

A home builder, Holland campaigned on his council tenure and recent experience as a pollworker and county election board member.

"I think we worked very hard," Holland said. "I think that experience made a difference, and the education and the ability. And Warren ran a good campaign."

Holland and Jones were the top vote-getters in the Feb. 15 special election, triggering the runoff since neither captured a majority.

Jones, 54, a real estate agent, served on the City Council from 1979 to 1999. A two-time council president, he attempted a comeback after losing the 1999 runoff for elections supervisor to Stafford. …

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