TEMPLE TERRACE — Mel Jurado easily won the special election for mayor of Temple Terrace on Tuesday, outpacing both her competitors combined by more than 2-1.
Jurado, 59, an industrial psychologist, got 73 percent of the vote in unofficial returns.
Accountant David Ganessingh, 54, a 16-year resident and member of the city's Board of Adjustment, took 18 percent, and Linda Ormsbee, a former social worker and 10-year resident, finished with 9 percent of the vote.
Jurado will replace former Mayor Kim Leinbach, who resigned in May because of an illness in his family and a new job as assistant city manager of Plant City.
A 25-year resident of the city, Jurado is founder and co-owner of the Profitable Group, a consulting and training organization. She and her husband, Rod, have been active in local Republican Party circles, and the county party backed her candidacy in the non-partisan race.
The campaign focused on a city-owned 22-acre tract east of 56th Street and south of Bullard Parkway.
City leaders have sought to redevelop it into a pedestrian-friendly downtown area of offices, shops, residences and restaurants. But those efforts have hit snags and, meanwhile, the city has until April to refinance or pay back a $23.5 million debt it incurred to buy the property. Jurado said in her campaign that debt means the city must move on the best offers it currently has.
She will be sworn in after the election results are certified, likely around the end of October.
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