SAFETY HARBOR — Real estate consultant Richard Blake defeated two other candidates for City Commission in Tuesday's special municipal election.
"I think that I was relatable to the residents in Safety Harbor, as far as wanting to see improvements with the city but still keep the same culture and quaint town that we've always had," said Blake.
A Clearwater native, Blake, 34, graduated from Countryside High School and earned a business management degree from Samford University in Homewood, Ala.
A real estate consultant for Remax, Blake serves on Safety Harbor's Planning and Zoning Board, Board of Appeals, and Waterfront Park Steering Committee.
Blake captured nearly 56 percent of the votes, beating Ray R. Irvin, who got almost 26 percent, and Robert Saltzman with 18 percent. All entered the election as newcomers to local politics.
A commission shuffle started when Mayor Andy Steingold vacated his post to run for a judgeship during the August primary. Vice Mayor Joe Ayoub claimed the mayoral seat unopposed, leaving open his unfinished commission term. Blake will complete that term, which runs through 2015.
Stephanie Wang can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.