The campaign to elect a new Pasco County judge will continue into November.
With no clear winner in Tuesday's primary, the two top vote-getters — Frank Grey, 57, and Tom Hanlon, 58 — will face each other in the Nov. 6 general election. Grey barely edged Hanlon for the top position, winning 31.9 percent of the votes.
"I feel real relieved and grateful to everybody who has done so much to help me get to this point," said Grey, who lives in New Port Richey with his wife, Cheri. He comes from a prominent Pasco County real estate family and has focused much of his private practice on real estate law. He has also worked as special magistrate hearing property tax appeals since 1993 and is a certified circuit civil and county court mediator.
Hanlon came in fewer than 300 votes behind Grey at 31.3 percent in unofficial results.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Hanlon, senior assistant public defender in Dade City. He grew up in Tampa and worked in private practice until Public Defender Bob Dillinger asked him to work for him. In his off time, Hanlon, who is divorced and has an adult son, works on his Dade City ranch, where he has cattle. He said he's worked tirelessly on his campaign and felt thankful for all of the people who supported him. "Even if I lose," he said he told himself Tuesday before the results rolled in, "I haven't lost because I've met so many nice people."
Eva Vergos, 35, an assistant state attorney, got 26.5 percent of the votes. Joseph Poblick, 37, the city attorney for Zephyrhills and Port Richey, had about 10 percent.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.