NEW PORT RICHEY — Voters in both Port Richey and New Port Richey on Tuesday returned their incumbents to all four available city council seats.
In New Port Richey two incumbents and two challengers sought the two available seats. Voters returned Matt Murphy for a second term and gave Mike Peters his first full term. A council appointee, Peters has only been on the council since November.
Murphy, 50, is a Massachusetts native who has lived in the area most of his life. Owner of Farrell Power Company, he focused his campaign on improving downtown, neighborhoods and businesses. He also hopes to work on the community’s homelessness problem and making wise budget decisions.
Peters, 66, is the owner of Mike Peters State Farm Insurance. His platform included expanding city redevelopment success beyond downtown out into New Port Richey’s neighborhoods and welcoming more public input and involvement in the city.
Challenger Kate Connolly had led all four candidates in early voting but fell behind when the election day votes were tallied. She and the other newcomer, Rachel Guiliani Hagenbaugh, had hoped to bring a new perspective to the New Port Richey council.
In Port Richey, incumbents Tom Kinsella and Todd Maklary were both returned to their council seats, besting Seth Kapp who was making his first run at public office with a push for more fiscal responsibility. Kinsella and Maklary were elected in 2019 when seats were vacated during the time after former Mayor Dale Massad was arrested.
Kinsella, 68, is a retired sergeant with the Pasco County Sheriffs office who now works as the manager of safety and security for the Moffitt Cancer Center. He campaigned on increasing transparency and accountability and supporting the city’s redevelopment prospects.
Maklary, 44, is the director of development services for Colliers International. He also campaigned on continuing to improve city transparency and accountability. His other priorities are to see the long-awaited city dredging projects to move forward and use community development funds to help the waterfront and other businesses.