By Noelle H. Lowery
The ballots have been cast and counted, and the results are in with more than 61 percent of registered Collier County voters heading to the polls.
The Marco Island City Council will have one new face in the coming year. Incumbents Joe Batte and Bob Brown will remain on the dais with 28 percent and 27 percent of the vote respectively, and Victor Rios will join them with 23 percent. Litha Berger fought a tough race, though, coming in with a little more than 21 percent of the vote.
In other local races, Erika Donalds won the District 3 School Board seat with 58 percent of voters favoring her. James M. Lang (56 percent) won the Soil & Conservation Group 4 seat, while Clarence S. Tears Jr. (60 percent) won the Soil & Conservation Group 5 seat. The Second District Court of Appeals judges — Chris W. Altenbernd, Morris Silberman and Daniel H. Sleet — will be retained.
Curt Clawson will keep the US Representative District 19 seat, beating April Freeman and Ray Netherwood. Statewide, Pam Bondi will remain Florida’s attorney general, and Adam Putnam the state’s commissioner of agriculture. Jeff Atwater defeated William Rankin for the position of Florida’s chief financial officer.
Voters cast ballots on three Constitutional Amendments — which need 60 percent of the vote to pass — this election. Amendment 1 which focused on water and land conservation by dedicating funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands easily passed, while the controversial Amendment 2 favoring medical marijuana and Amendment 3 on prospective appointment of certain judicial vacancies failed to garner the required 60 percent.
Finally, Rick Scott will continue to lead the state of Florida from the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee with 48 percent of the vote, despite a hard-fought race by former Governor Charlie Crist.