BAY COUNTY - Voters in 3 Bay County cities went to the polls Tuesday to choose candidates for several city council or commission seat, and at least 1 mayor.
Panama City Beach, Callaway and Mexico Beach all had contested races during Bay County's Super Tuesday Municipal Elections.
Incumbent Josie Strange beat challenger Skip Alford 686-546 for the Panama City Beach Ward Three City Council seat.
Voters decided to put Strange back in office for another term, giving her an 11 point margin over challenger Alford.
Also on Panama City Beach, all of the 12 referendums passed.
No close races in Callaway.
Thomas Abbott retains the mayor's position, beating challenger, Janene Melvin by a 59% to 41% margin.
Melba Covey won the Ward One Commission seat over Dennis Delapp by a 2 to 1 margin.
Bob Pelletier beat John J. Malone for the Ward Three seat by an almost 3 to 1 margin.
"My hats off to all of them [other candidates]. They all wanted to do something good. I'm humbled that the citizens in this city have asked me to do this for another two years. My commitment is, I am going to work as hard as I can with the new board and I am confident that the five of us will make good decisions," said Thomas Abbott, Callaway Mayor.
"We have listen to the citizens. The citizens are the ones that got out and rallied the people and they carried our message to the people that we are going to be the 'citizens' commissioners' and that they can go to bed at night and know that we are watching over their city," said Melba Covey, Callaway Commission Ward One.
"I have different perspective and out look, fresh outlook of what I believe our voters want our citizens want. I'm looking forward to the day ahead and going to work," said Bob Pelletier, Callaway Commission Ward Three.
The most hotly contested races took place in Mexico Beach.
In fact, one of those races is almost too close to call.
In the Council Group Two race, Mary Blackburn beat incumbent, Gary Woodham by a 6 point margin.
Only 29 votes separate the two.
The Group 5 race is even closer, with Jeff Tendler edging out Bill McGothin by 21 votes, or 4%.
However, the closest race involves incumbent Group 4 Council Member Tanya Castro, who holds a 4 vote lead over challenger Tom Bailey.
There is less than a percentage point difference between the candidates.
"Again, thank you all for the people who voted for me, I hope all this comes out in a successful way. Mrs. Castro, if you are the winner, god bless you," said Tom Bailey, Mexico Beach Group 4 Candidate.
"I think that sometimes a smear campaign can get you ahead and I think that's what Mr. Bailey tried to do, but I'm glad that the people of Mexico Beach saw, you know, saw past that," said Tanya Castro, Mexico Beach Group Four Candidate.
Right now, the .75% margin is enough to give Castro the victory.
The Canvassing Board will count provisional ballots Thursday.
If those ballots close the gap, then the Canvassing Board could call for a recount.
The results from all 3 cities won't be certified until after those provisional ballots are handled.