Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

On day after elections, time to decide what happens next

Bob Nese greets voters Tuesday at precincts at Spring Hill United Church of Christ Fellowship. Turnout was higher than expected.

CHRIS PRICE | Special to the Times

Bob Nese greets voters Tuesday at precincts at Spring Hill United Church of Christ Fellowship. Turnout was higher than expected.

BROOKSVILLE — There wasn't much glamor in Wayne Dukes' first day after getting elected to the Hernando County Commission.

He was busy gathering up campaign signs all across the county, adding to the nearly 350 miles he has logged in the last several days. He was frustrated that so many of the signs had already disappeared, but Dukes said he felt like the job had to be finished.

"I won't really feel like I've won the election until I'm done with this,'' said Dukes, who took nearly 60 percent of the vote Tuesday, ousting the only Democrat on the board, Rose Rocco.

While Dukes said he had not fully developed a game plan for the next few days, he said he has supporters to thank and appointments to make with county staffers before he takes office Nov. 16.

At 48.39 percent, the county's overall general election voter turnout was markedly higher than the 35 to 40 percent that Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams predicted. That was also a slight increase over the turnout from the last midterm election, which was 47.85 percent in 2006.

Also among the big winners was Republican Robert Schenck with nearly 60 percent of the vote over Democrat Diane Rowden. Schenck said his track record of shrinking government, a common theme among Republicans during these lean economic times, helped win him his third term in the District 44 Florida House seat.

Both Rocco and Rowden said the Republican wave had taken its toll on their campaigns.

"I got caught up in this whole national brouhaha from the Republicans,'' Rowden said.

"I was surprised at the numbers,'' Rocco said. "But then when you look at the Republican push out there, it was pretty much across the board.''

Rocco said she had no regrets about her time on the board and no hard feelings about the outcome of the campaign.

"I'm very proud of my accomplishments as a commissioner. I have done my best,'' she said. "Now we have a five member Republican board and all men. Let's see what they do.''

She said she was concerned about the future of some of the projects that she had spearheaded, such as the community initiatives both in south Brooksville and in Hernando Beach as well as a fledgling group just getting started in Ridge Manor.

While she plans to remain active in the community, Rocco said she first plans a bit of rest. "Peter (Rocco's husband) and I are going to take a little bit of a break and relax and think about what I can do next,'' she said.

Rowden was also introspective about her plans. She planned to continue working with some of her favorite community groups, such as People Helping People and the Crescent Clinic.

Still stinging from the negative campaign advertisements leveled against her, Rowden spent her morning scrubbing away the visual cues of the election. She took her hair dryer to the special election wrap on her Smart car and removed all the advertising of her political campaign.

"This was my morning therapy,'' she called it.

Rowden said that whatever she has done in the community was done as an effort to help people and she worried about how they would fare under the new wave of Republican officials.

"If anything, I cry for the people because they aren't going to have true representation. They're not going to have anyone to look after their needs,'' she said.

While Rowden and Rocco could each only manage 40 percent of the vote in their races on Tuesday, the proposed universal and automated garbage collection system couldn't even get that much. Less than a third of the county's voters were in favor of the plan in the nonbinding referendum.

County officials plan to scrutinize precinct-by-precinct information on that vote to determine if a pilot project of the system should be put in place in a particular, supportive neighborhood. Those detailed precinct reports were not available Wednesday.

The once-per-week-each garbage, recycling and yard waste plan was explored because haulers have said it is the most efficient system and officials figured it could save residents money.

Changes in services and fees for garbage collection are possible next year after new franchise agreements with haulers are finalized. County commissioners were hopeful that the vote would give them the information they need to shape future garbage collection services.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

On day after elections, time to decide what happens next 11/03/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 7:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kriseman and Baker cash races continues as campaigns officially reset

    Blogs

    The mayoral campaign, mostly operating in stealth mode during the two weeks of Hurricane Irma's build-up, arrival and recovery, has entered its stretch run, a compressed schedule of ten days before ballots are mailed to tens of thousands of voters in the Sunshine City.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker are emerging from Hurricane Irma mode and getting back into campaign form
  2. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  3. Memorial for Snooty the manatee, postponed because of Irma, to be held Sunday

    Wildlife

    A public memorial to celebrate the life of 69-year-old Snooty the manatee will be held at the South Florida Museum on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

    Snooty , the world's most celebrated manatee, begs for another slice of apple in his pool in the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton in 2008. Snooty was 60 then. [Times 2008]
  4. Residents wade through a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. [Associated Press]
  5. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem

    Bucs

    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]