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Incumbents thrive in most races

Voters headed to the polls in seven Pinellas municipalities Tuesday, sending mostly incumbents into office and altering one city charter.

Only three of the 12 incumbents who ran for re-election were defeated. Results from Tuesday's races included:

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH: Voters overwhelmingly passed a referendum on whether the city should ask voters before buying or leasing property outside city limits. Only candidates who supported it were elected.

Commissioner James Palamara and newcomer Bill Ockunzzi received the most votes in the field of four candidates.

MADEIRA BEACH: The battle for mayor and two City Commission seats fell flat Tuesday as all three incumbents were returned to office. Voters also defeated a referendum that would have switched the city to a districtwide voting system for commissioners.

Mayor Tom DeCesare defeated Len Piotti; District 3 Commissioner Roger Koske defeated Cindy Saxon; and District 4 Commissioner Charles Parker defeated Ken Schwartz.

KENNETH CITY: Bill Smith was re-elected mayor, beating challenger Ronald Sneed. In the three-person race for two seats on the Town Council, newcomer Phil Redisch received the most votes. Incumbent Teresa Zemaitis also returned to the council.

Incumbent council member Al Carrier was defeated, making him the only incumbent defeated Tuesday who was elected to his previous term. The other two incumbents were appointed to their offices within the past few months.

REDINGTON BEACH: Commissioner Tim Gregson, the only incumbent in the race, easily won a second term and will be joined on the commission by newcomer Paul Warren.

Another newcomer to politics _ a man so new that Tuesday was the first time he ever voted _ is Bob Fountaine, Redington Beach's new mayor. Fountaine defeated former Mayor Ramona Updegraff and former Redington Beaches police Chief Charles Haggerty.

REDINGTON SHORES: Mayor J.J. Beyrouti easily won another term, defeating Michael Glick, who lost his third consecutive bid for office.

Roy Scarpitta, who was appointed to the Town Commission in November after the death of a commissioner, was ousted by Mel Kaplani. Two newcomers battled for the other seat on the commission, with Marshall Reynolds topping Calvin Johnson.

OLDSMAR: Janice Miller, who joined the race for an Oldsmar City Council seat shortly before qualifying ended, won 65 percent of the vote to beat Tony Ringelspaugh.

BELLEAIR BLUFFS: Incumbent Chris Arbutine Sr. beat challenger Carol Cortright.