DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- With a mere 6 percent of the 66,166 registered voters taking part in the electoral process, Tuesday's primary turnout for the dist. 2 school board seat could go down as among the lowest in modern times with only 3,390 bothering to vote.
Still, every vote cast matters and that's what put Daytona Beach resident and Bethune-Cookmn University educator Ida Duncan Wright on top with 1,538 of those votes or 38.84 percent. Kathy Williams finished second with 1,023 votes or 25.83 percent to force a runoff election because Wright didn't quite reach the 50 percent-plus 1 threshold to win it outright.
So the district 2 voters from Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, South Daytona Ponce Inlet, and parts of Port Orange will be asked to go to the polls again in the Jan. 15 special election runoff and choose between Wright and Williams.
The special election was called for by Gov. Rick Scott after the Oct. 1 death of Williams' husband, Al Williams, who was chairman of the school board. He won re-election back in August over Wright.
Rounding out the field in Tuesday's primary were Teresa Valdes of Daytona Beach Shores, whom some county GOP leaders thought might possibly sneak by Kathy Williams in the non-partisan contest because of her experience as a one-time statehouse candidate.
Though she finished third and out of the running this time around, Valdes nonetheless garnered a respectable 858 votes or 21.67 percent.
Wright, the consensus favorite to finish up front, enjoys partisan Democratic support from the likes of County Council member Joshua Wagner and newly elected Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry.
Rounding out the primary field were Deborah Haigh Nader with 317 votes or 8.01 percent and Horace Anderson, Jr. with 224 votes or 5.6 percent of the total.