Julie Marcus will stay Pinellas County supervisor of elections, according to unofficial results, holding nearly 58 percent of the vote.
Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her to the job in May after the retirement of longtime elections supervisor Deborah Clark.
“I’m beside myself,” Marcus, 44, said. It’s one of the most humbling experiences ever. You have voters putting their trust in you."
Marcus, a Republican, faced Democratic challenger Dan Helm, 35, an attorney who has long had an interest in voting rights.
Helm held 42 percent of returns.
The supervisor is tasked with ensuring secure and seamless elections in Pinellas County, whether federal elections or local municipal races. Winners are elected to four-year terms and earn a salary set by state formula, which is $170,065 for fiscal year 2020-21.
This was both candidates' first run for public office.
Marcus started working in the Supervisor of Elections Office in 2002 under Clark. She has touted her experience in an office that must navigate complex federal and state rules and ensure equitable access to voting. Marcus has followed in Clark’s footsteps championing the use of vote-by-mail ballots, and said she believes in educating citizens about voter registration and their voting options.
Helm focused his campaign on expanding the number of early voting sites in the county and increasing transparency and security in the elections process.
Earlier this year, Helm was one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit that sought to force elections officials to preserve digital images of every ballot. The case was put on hold after the sides agreed to defer the suit in exchange for elections officials promising to preserve ballot images if there’s a recount in the 2020 general election.
Tampa Bay Times elections coverage
FLORIDA’S ELECTION NIGHT — AND BEYOND: Here’s what you need to know.
DECLARING WINNERS: How the Associated Press makes election calls, a Q&A
WHAT TO WATCH: What’s on TV for election night, from news to comedian commentators
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the elections in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription. Or click here to make a donation to the Tampa Bay Times Journalism Fund.