Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Congressional aide Shirley Anderson wins election supervisor's race in Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — You have to go back more than three decades to find the last Republican who served as Hernando County supervisor of elections.

Until now.

Tuesday's election saw longtime congressional staffer Republican Shirley Anderson skirt by her Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Townsend, to capture the job she has vigorously pursued since she announced her candidacy a year ago.

"I'm so fortunate to have a campaign staff that worked very hard from the beginning to make this happen," an excited Anderson said Tuesday night. "I want to concentrate on bringing the elections office into a whole new generation."

For Anderson, the victory was particularly sweet redemption from four years ago, when she lost to incumbent elections supervisor Annie Williams in a three-way race. When Williams announced last year that she would retire after 12 years in the position, Anderson, who serves as an aide to U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent, quickly jumped in with a tightly organized, well-funded campaign that had plenty of backing from the local Republican Party.

Unlike 2008, this time Anderson faced a political newcomer who had worked eight years in the elections office, including two years as operations director. Although not nearly as well-heeled as her opponent, Townsend's campaign managed to zero in on Williams' longtime base.

Although the supervisor's race doesn't usually attract a lot of attention, this year's contest saw its share of ruffled feathers.

In a sharply worded letter from Williams, Anderson was admonished for entering a polling place without authorization during the August primary election. Anderson's camp then accused Townsend of parking her campaign-adorned vehicle too close to the entrance of a polling location.

Anderson, who will take office in January, said she intends to immediately begin concentrating on her promise of making the elections office more efficient, effective and accountable to Hernando taxpayers.

She said that she intends to keep the office's existing employees, including Townsend, at least through a 90-day review period.

"You need experienced people in this office," Anderson said. "That's what I intend to do."

Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or [email protected]

Congressional aide Shirley Anderson wins election supervisor's race in Hernando 11/06/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 11:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Drug czar nominee Marino withdraws name amid report he weakened DEA


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the Pennsylvania congressman he chose to be the nation's drug czar is withdrawing from consideration for the job.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., left, sponsored the law that weakened the DEA's enforcement abilities. Seen with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015, Marino is nominated to be the nation's drug czar. [Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg]
  2. Photo of the Day for October 17, 2017 - Urban possums

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Roger Kimble of Tampa, FL.

  3. Exposé 'Champions Way' uses FSU to illustrate bad behavior in college programs


    While the entire college football universe was focused on a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston during Florida State's 2013 national title run, another off-field scandal was playing out quietly.

     Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the game between Florida State Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
  4. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA


    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  5. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors


    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]