Rich Gailey wins primary for County Council district 5, Fred Lowry, Jr. finishes second to force November runoff

Comeback over for Phil Giorno with third place finish

Rich Gailey wins Aug. 26 primary for Volusia County Council / Headline Surfer®Rich Gailey wins Aug, 26 primary / Headline Surfer®Fred Lowry, Jr. finishes 2nd in Aug. 26 primary for County Council district 5 / Headline Surfer®Phil Giorno finishers 3rd in Aug. 26 primary for Country Council dis 5 / Headline Surfer®Headline Surfer® graphic / At left are the results of the Aug. 26 primary for the Volusia County Council District 5 seat showing Rich Gailey with the win, Fred Lowry, Jr., finishing second and Phil Giorno finishing third and out of the running, and all three shown from left to right. Gailey and Lowry will square off in November. Below, Gailey waves to passersby in DeBary on primary night.
 

DELTONA -- Rich Gailey won Tuesday's primary for the County Council District 5 seat on the County Council, but not by enough to avoid a Nov. 4 runoff with second-place finisher Fred Lowry, Jr.

For Phil Giorno, who finished a distant third, a comeback on the dais didn't materialize and hid campaign is now over.

Rich Gailey waves to passersby on primary night in DeBary / Headline Surfer®Unofficial results from the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections at the historic Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand show Gailey as the winner with 4,536 votes or 40.33 percent of the 11,248 votes cast for district 5 seat representing Deltona, DeBary, Enterprise and part of Osteen.

Lowry finished second with 4,111 votes or 36.55 percent of the total, followed by Giorno in third with 2,601 votes or 23.12 percent of the overall voting.

Gailey finished below the 50 percent plus 1 vote needed to avoid a runoff, but still he was the victor. For Lowry, it was a bitter pill considering his own party turned on him.

Gailey and Lowry are both Republicans in the non-partisan race and Giorno a Democrat. But Volusia County GOP Chair did something unprecedented in Volusia County politics: They decided to endorse who they wanted instead of leaving it to the voters.  And as such a Republican voter guide went out to the party faithful with only Gailey's name listed as a candidate.

Volusia County GOP Chair Tony Ledbetter chose favorites / Headline Surfer®Tony Ledbetter, shown here at left and chairman of the Volusia County Republican Party, got the excutive committee to pick favorites in each county and municipal race even though they were non-partisan.

Republican Gailey and Lowry are both Republicans in the non-partisan race and Giorno a Democrat. But Volusia County GOP Chair Tony Ledbetter did something unprecedented in Volusia County politics: They decided to endorse who they wanted instead of leaving it to the voters.  And as such a Republican voter guide went out to the party faithful with only Gailey's name listed as a candidate.

Ledbetter justified the move prior to absentee ballots being mailed and early voting that preceded the primary, saying he was against non-partisan elections.

The GOP favoritism controversy was not the only surprise in the 2014 election cycle up to this point. Early on Patricia Northey, term-limited and unable to seek a third four-year term for the district 5 seat, opted instead to challenge at-large County Council colleague Joyce Cusack for her seat. This, too, is unprecedented as both are registered Democrats.

The third candidate in the at-large race is Deltona City Commissioner Webster Barnaby, who finished third just behind Northey in second place to force a recount. Cusack is assured a spot in the Nov. 4 elections by virtue of her win Tuesday.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.