DELAND, Fla. -- She had been mercilessly attacked by one of her opponents throughout the 2015 election cycle by one of her opponents, but Lisa Lewis never reacted to the mud slinging and she won the post outright in the Aug. 30 primary.
As a matter of fact, Lewis won by the largest margin of victory of any candidate in the primary with multiple opponents.
By a wider margin than the re-election of Derrick Henry as mayor of Daytona Beach. By an even wider margin than Mike Chitwood for sheriff.
In the municipal race, Henry won with 5,766 votes or 62.15 percent of the overall votes to win re-election to a second four year term. Finishing a distant second was Ken Strickland with 2,083 votes or 22.45 percent, third was Fred Hoffman with 631 votes or 6.8 percent, fourth was David Chief Rhody with 411 votes or 4.43 percent and last was Dominique DeLannoy with 386 votes or 4.16 percent of the total.
In the race for sheriff with no incumbent, then-Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood won with 46,795 votes or 50,63 percent of the overall votes. In order to win a primary outright, a candidate needs at least 50 percent of the votes plus 1 more to meet that threshold.
Finishing a distant second to Chitwood was then-Chief Deputy Eric Dietrich (now a captain) in the Volusia County Sheriff's Office with 20,931 votes or 22.65 percent, third was VCSO Capt. David Brannon with 13,958 votes or 15.1 percent, fourth was retired Seminole County Sheriff's deputy Wendell Bradford with 9,311 votes or 10.07 percent and last was former Pasco County Sheriff Jim Gillum with 1,423 votes or 1.54 percent of the overall number of votes.
And in the race for Volusia County Supervisor of Elections, not only did Lisa Lewis overwhelmingly defeat her four opponents, she was tops in the primary among candidates with multiple opponents to win her race with the highest percentage of votes -- 64.2 percent. She defeated her second place opponent by 42,033 votes. By comparison, that's nearly twice as many votes generated by Lewis as Chitwood had in the 25,864 votes over his second place finisher.
And Lewis had more votes, than any of the other 102 candidates running in the 2016 primary, regardless of particular office sought.
In the race for supervisor of elections, Lewis had 54,404 votes or 64.2 percent -- again, both figures tops in the primary. Theresa Apgar, wife of DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar, finished well behind Lewis in second place with 12,371 votes or 14.6 percent. Third behind Lewis was David Lee Davis, a substitute teacher with the Volusia County School District, with 10,497 votes or 12.39 percent and last was Bill Fyfe, an employee in the office of supervisor of elections with 7,470 votes or or 8.81 percent of the total votes.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Lewis as acting supervisor of elections on April 20, effective May 4, one day after Ann McFall's announced retirement. McFall had written to the governor imploring him to name Lewis as her replacement, stating in part, "Her loyalty and commitment to the Volusia County Department of Elections cannot be matched."
"I've worked really hard to make this department better than when I found it, and I know my predecessor did the same and Lisa will do the same," McFall added.
Lisa Lewis had been the deputy supervisor of elections for the past 10 years prior to her appointment.
Despite seemingly daily criticisms in social media from opponent David Lee Davis, a substitute teacher, or criticism from Davis' friends, Lewis just ignored Davis and his friends and went about her business.
Lewis' campaign was positive and she won big. And that is why Lisa Lewis is the 2016 Headline Surfer® Politician of the Year.