By TONY MARRERO
Times Staff Writer
BROOKSVILLE — A full recount for two Hernando County races has confirmed the outcomes of Election Day: Retired Brooksville educator Cynthia Moore defeated four-term incumbent Sandra Nicholson for the District 5 School Board seat, and Ken Fagan emerged victorious over Guy "Rusty'' Amore in the race for a second seat on the Spring Hill Fire Rescue Commission.
After a week of reviewing ballots by machine and by hand, the margins of victory changed only slightly by the time the recount ended Wednesday afternoon.
Moore, who had a margin of 41 votes on Election Day, ultimately won by 38 votes out of 59,565 votes cast. Fagan, who had a mere one-vote lead last week, won by five votes in a race of nearly 41,000 votes cast.
The final official results will be submitted to the state Friday afternoon, Elections Supervisor Annie Williams said.
The elections canvassing board reviewed absentee and provisional ballots last week. On Monday and Tuesday, the board oversaw an electronic recount of precinct ballots.
And Wednesday, the board reviewed so-called over- and under-votes. On these ballots, the voter either did not make a clear selection or made too many choices. Workers pulled aside questionable ballots, and Williams and County Judge Donald Scaglione pored over ballots with dots and smudges in the respective races to determine voter intent.
Nicholson's loss spoils a sweep for the three incumbents on the School Board. Members John Sweeney and Dianne Bonfield defeated their opponents in the August primary in the nonpartisan races, each on their way to a second term.
Moore took the most votes in August in a three-way race that also included Hernando High teacher Michael Bainum.
Fagan came in second behind Sherry Adler. Both have been vocal critics of the fire board.
Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.