Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Commissioner, Challenger Face District 1 Runoff 26 Percent of Voters Turn Out

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Commissioner, Challenger Face District 1 Runoff 26 Percent of Voters Turn Out

Article excerpt

ST. AUGUSTINE -- St. Johns County voters decided all the local races on yesterday's ballot but two.

The County Commission race for fast-growing northwest St. Johns District 1 seat ended with Republican incumbent Pal Howell and Nicholas M. Meiszer headed for an Oct. 3 runoff. Whoever wins the runoff will face Democrat Dutcher Register in November.

In the non-partisan race for countywide Seat 5 on the St. Augustine/St. Johns County Airport Authority, Joseph A. Ciriello and Malcolm W. Kingsley headed to a November runoff. They defeated Eric S. Doten and Steve Kira.

With 26 percent of voters going to the polls, the race in commission District 1 was the most heated.

Howell, a retired professional truck driver and a commissioner for the past four years, wants to continue working on projects he began during his last term, such as a new post office and county office on Racetrack Road.

Meiszer, a member of the St. Johns County Civic Roundtable and Casa Cola Homeowners Association, said he believes in "smart growth with economic vitality, community standards and environmental protection in harmony."

The two defeated Heather Dawn Michael and Ellen Whitmer.

Register is a small-business owner and courier service operator who ran for commission in 1996.

In the race for St. Johns County Commission District 5, which represents St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach and Crescent Beach, incumbent Jim Bryant defeated Gary McMahon. Bryant will face Democrat Karen C. Lewis in November.

In the race for county sheriff, Republican incumbent Neil Perry, first elected in 1984, will go on to face Democrat Ronald L. Stafford in November. Perry handily defeated challenger Glenn F. Lightsey.

Alexander R. Christine Jr. easily won the race for St. Augustine City Commission Seat 3, which represents all of St. Augustine. Historic preservation, economic growth and equal representation were the top issues discussed by the candidates in the race.

Christine, an attorney and former chief prosecutor, said he wants to encourage historic preservation while maintaining economic vitality, ensuring public safety and promoting fiscal responsibility.

Christine defeated Errol D. Jones, Robert E. Jones and Alice Long-Owens.

In the race for St. …

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