Despite all the glitches, power outages and incorrect robocalls, voters in the Tampa Bay area flooded the polls both before and during Election Day. Plenty of incumbents were returned to office.
In Pasco County, veteran State Sen. Mike Fasano — term-limited out of his current job — had a particularly easy time winning his bid for a House seat. He collected 100 percent of the votes in District 36 to beat write-in candidate Joseph Antimo Verola.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, a Republican who was appointed to the job last year by Scott, breezed to another term in office with 65 percent over Democratic challenger Kim Bogart, making his second run for office, who had 34 percent.
In Hillsborough County Commission races, incumbent Republican Commissioner Al Higginbotham beat Democrat Mark Nash 58 to 37 percent, with independent Joy Green trailing them both.
Meanwhile Republican Margaret Iuculano, founder of an advocacy organization for foster children, lost to incumbent Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, a Democrat and a former police officer first elected in 2008. She had 42 percent to Beckner's 57 percent.
In the state Senate's District 24 race, home builder Tom Lee, a former Senate president, won his bid to get back into the Legislature by beating first-time candidate Elizabeth Belcher, a Democrat, by 54 percent to 45 percent, with write-in candidate Randolph Link trailing both.
And in the District 26 race, former state Rep. Bill Galvano won a return ticket to Tallahassee in this newly drawn district, besting Paula House, a former leader of the Highlands County Democrats, with 58 percent versus 41 percent.
Craig Pittman can be reached at [email protected]