Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After slow vote count, Jeff Holcomb prevails in Hernando commission primary

Republican Jeff Holcomb moves on in the District 4 race for County Commission.

Republican Jeff Holcomb moves on in the District 4 race for County Commission.

BROOKSVILLE — At a victory party Tuesday night, Republican Jeff Holcomb waited with other candidates to hear how he had fared against Laurie Pizzo, who was also seeking a shot at the District 4 seat on the Hernando County Commission.

Holcomb watched vote totals trickle in and witnessed the celebration as a School Board candidate became the clear victor and another made it through to a November runoff.

His race, however, was too close to call.

By the time — after 11 p.m. — it was known that he had bested Pizzo by fewer than 100 votes, most of the people had left the party.

Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson on Wednesday sent a letter of apology to candidates for the slowness of the returns. She said her website crashed as the polls closed, so she began posting results to social media.

Ultimately, Holcomb, 43, had earned the chance to take on Democrat Dan Oliver and no-party candidate H. David Werder on Nov. 4.

On Wednesday, he said it had been a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

"There's a sense of excitedness and also being tired (and) wrapped up in it, too,'' said Holcomb, a software consultant who focused his campaign on being the more conservative choice for Republicans. "Now we're headed into more uncharted territory.''

Holcomb said his opponent "was a really tough candidate'' with all of her local contacts and political experience and he felt "shocked and blessed'' to have won the primary victory.

In moving to the next phase of the campaign, Holcomb said he's aware that his Democratic opponent is well known.

"Obviously, we've got another tough vote. But if we can get out the vote, we feel really good about the situation,'' he said.

Pizzo, a 47-year-old Realtor, said she doesn't regret running for the commission seat and does not intend to seek a recount. Instead, she said Republicans need to come together to support Holcomb in the general election.

"We ran a positive, clean campaign, and I'm so proud of that,'' she said.

As for what went wrong, Pizzo said, "I've been at this for a very long time. We did everything we could from grass roots knocking on doors to fliers. … We did everything. What I think happened was low voter turnout.''

She got emotional as she talked about the hard work her supporters put into her campaign.

"I met some of the most fantastic people, incredible people supporting me,'' she said. "I get tears in my eyes because they put their hearts and their souls into this.''

After slow vote count, Jeff Holcomb prevails in Hernando commission primary 08/27/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.