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DISTRICT 2 // Griswold soundly wins new term

The Griswold reign will continue for another four years.

Bea Griswold solidly defeated political newcomer Ronnie Beck in the race for the District 2 seat on City Council.

By the end of her new term, a Griswold will have served on City Council for 16 years.

Griswold is ending her first four years on council, but she followed her husband, Bill, who served for eight years before her.

"Boy, time flies when you're having fun," Griswold said.

The race was unusual because Griswold and Beck agreed on many issues and avoided confrontation. Theirs was the most cordial and least controversial of the city races this year.

In defeat, Beck remained gracious.

"I congratulate her," he said. "It's a real dynasty her and her husband have built."

Griswold said she believes voters responded to the lack of contentiousness in her race.

"I have nothing bad to say about him and as far as I know, he me," she said. "I think the voters appreciate that.

Griswold, 64, is a retired elementary schoolteacher who taught in Pinellas schools from 1963 to 1992.

During the campaign, she emphasized her experience on City Council and her familiarity with the city's problems.

But she said name recognition and the fact that she is an incumbent could not be enough to put her over the top.

"That doesn't always prove to be an advantage," she said. "It depends on what the people think of you and and I'm just very pleased that the people thought enough of me to re-elect me."

Beck said he is pleased with his showing, considering he is a newcomer.

"I'm brand new with no name recognition against an incumbent and I still got more then 40 percent," he said.

"I'm not through. This is the beginning. Down the line there will be other positions.

"Who knows? In another four years, I might be running for mayor."