DUNEDIN — Julie Ward Bujalski won her race Tuesday night, securing another four years in office as Dunedin’s mayor, according to unofficial results. She won 55 percent of the vote.
Bujalski has been Dunedin’s mayor since 2014 and has served on the Dunedin City Commission since 2006. Bujalski, 54, faced a challenge from her vice mayor, Heather Gracy, who has been on the same commission since 2012 and has been twice appointed the vice mayor by her fellow commissioners.
As mayor, Bujalski has said representing the citizens of Dunedin and unifying the city is a top priority. Bujalski has lived in Dunedin for 50 years and often mentions the importance of maintaining the city’s “village vibe.” She is a board member of Forward Pinellas and chair of the Mayors' Council of Pinellas County, and previously served as liaison to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bujalski did not immediately answer calls for comment Tuesday night.
Gracy, 49, aimed to bring a fresh perspective and more government transparency to the position with meetings that reflect how residents and their voices are a priority. She describes herself as a fiscally responsible city commissioner, and hopes to bring her “excessive saving” to the mayoral office.
As vice mayor, Gracy serves on the board of directors of the Florida League of Cities and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and previously served as president of the Suncoast League of Cities from 2017-2019.
Bujalski was fined $1,500 in April for accepting contributions from partisan organizations in previous years. A formal complaint was never issued against Bujalski, but after she heard of a 2018 complaint made against Commissioner Jeff Grow for taking partisan contributions, she said she called the city attorney in December to inform him of her potential violations. Bujalski received contributions from Democratic organizations during her 2016 mayoral reelection campaign.
The Dunedin mayor serves four years per term for a maximum of two terms and is paid $15,000 a year. The city of Dunedin, just north of Clearwater, is home to over 36,000 residents.
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