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Incumbents elected in Dunedin; tight races in Largo, Seminole

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Dunedin Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski and commission member Heather Gracy were re-elected in Dunedin.

In Largo, incumbent Curtis Holmes held a slim lead over challenger Neil McMullen.

In a tight Seminole race, incumbents Thom Barnhorn and Jim Quinn held slender leads over challenger Tom Christy, who was making his seventh try for a seat on the council. The two top vote-getters will take office.

Dunedin’s Bujalski was returned to office with about 57 percent of the vote to defeat vice Mayor Bruce Livingston. Bujalski was first elected mayor in November 2014, after serving on the commission since 2006.

Gracy also received about 57 percent of the vote to defeat challenger Reuben C. Hepburn. Gracy has served on the Dunedin commission since 2012.

Maureen “Moe” Freaney won Seat 1 on the Dunedin council with about 61 percent of the vote. Freaney is a management consultant who formerly worked as an assistant city manager for Dunedin and an assistant county administrator. She defeated Mike Jones, a retired major with the U.S. Marine Corps. Seat 1 had been vacated by Livingston to run for mayor.

In Largo with some mail and provisional ballots left to be counted, Holmes held a slim lead with 50.39 percent of the vote over challenger McMullen’s 49.61 percent of the vote. This was McMullen’s first run for public office.

Holmes, a licensed insurance agent, is the owner of First Southeast Insurance Services and vice president of Innovative Marketing of America. This will be his third term on the Largo Commission having first been elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2012.

The race was even tighter in Seminole, where the two top vote-getters were to take office. Barnhorn was in the lead with 4,518 votes (34.67 percent); Quinn was in second place with 4,273 votes (32.79 percent); and Christy in third with 4,241 votes (32.54 percent). Some mail ballots and provisional ballots were still to be counted.

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