Local Election Day a Bad One for Incumbents, Except Lynn Haven

Tuesday was General Election Day in three Bay County municipalities. In two of them all the incumbents went down to defeat.

Although it may not have been the strongest voter turnout in recent years, residents of three cities spoke volumes with their votes.

For Panama City Beach, Jeff Ferguson beat out Lee Kinner by a vote of 631 to 325 for the Council Seat from Ward 1.

Bobby Bolton won Ward 4 with 602 votes, beating out incumbent Debbie Sasser who polled 400 votes.

Incumbents didn't fare to well in Callaway either.

Callaway City Commissioner Ward One is now Dennis DeLapp, who got 414 votes compared to 273 for Charles Griffin and Harvey Cox with 141.

And Tom Abbott won the Ward 2 Callaway seat with 375 votes. Carl Sauls received 258 and incumbent Shannon Aufdencamp received 211 votes.

Both Callaway incumbents Charles Griffin and Shannon Aufdencamp lost their reelection bids.

Walter Kelley secured another term as Lynn Haven's Mayor with 1,099 votes. Challenger Richard Walker received 626.

Frances Wittkopf retains her City Commissioner Seat 1 with 1,150 votes compared to 547 for her opponent Anna Vera Yingling.

And Antonius Barnes keeps Lynn Haven Commission Seat 2 with 1,058 votes. Challenger James Dean got 656.

In fact, Lynn Haven was the only city where voters left the incumbents in office.

Mayor Walter Kelley is proud, "I feel real good because I think the people have spoken loud and clear that they're satisfied that we're moving forward in Lynn Haven. But we still have work to do and I'm looking forward to the next two years so we can make the quality of life better for everyone."

In other local elect news, all three Panama City Beach referendums were approved by the city voters. Give the nod of approval were a plan to allow the city to raise city manager’s contracting authority to $10,000.

Another referendum allows city council members to pass non-emergency ordinances on two separate readings.

And the final approved referendum changes the city charter to allow candidates to be elected by a simple majority without a runoff election.

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