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. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store


    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  2. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.