Turnout Abysmal: Marilyn Ford's quest to succeed late husband on Port Orange council now hinges on June runoff after falling short of threshold for outright win Tuesday in crowded field

By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

PORT ORANGE, Fla -- Though he finished a distant second, upstart newcomer Lee Barriero garnered just enough votes to prevent Marilyn Ford from winning today's special election and forcing a June runoff to determine which of the two will take the district 1 seat that opened up with the death of Ford's cancer-stricken husband, Robert Ford back in December.

With all 14 ptrecincts counted, Marilyn Ford, a formr county employee, garnered 2,480 voters or 45.1 vpercent of the total votes cast. Barreiro received 999 votes or 18.37 percent. Had Ford gotten 50 percent of the vote plus oine additional vote, she would have won the election outright. Instead she and Barreiro will square off in a June 11 runoff. 

Barreiro, 72 and formerly of Tampa, could not be reached for comment and messages left for Marilyn Ford, went unaswered. Ford was formally endorsed by Headline Surfer on the eve of the Tuesday election and promoted in recent weeks by leadership in the Volusia County Republican Party in the non-partisan race, but Port Orange voters stayed away in droves. 

Of the 44,078 registed voters eligible to vote, only 5,465 actually voted, an absolutely dismal showing of 12.4 percent in what could bew one of the lowest, if not the lowest in modern times in Volusia County. 

Finishing third and out of the running was Savannah Weaver, a 23-year-old culinary graduate and stay-at-home mom, with 909 votes or 16.72 percent. Fourth was Jonathan Foley, 26, a musician and church board member, with 756 votes or 13.9 perecent. Rounding out the field of candidates was Paul Rozar, a 66-year-old retired auto-service manager, with 294 votes or 5.41 percent.

This was the first time Barreiro and the other three candidates who finished behind him has run for public office. Marilyn Ford was the only candidate with name recognition in elctive office had back in 2016, and losing to GOP State Committeewoman Dana Christina Dougherty, with the incumbent Dougherty securing her seat with 52.32 percent of the votes in the Aug. 30 primary.

Barreiro could not be reached for comment and messages left for Marilyn Ford, went unaswered. Ford was formally endorsed by Headline Surfer on the eve of the Tuesday election and promoted in recent weeks by leadership in the Volusia County Republican Party in the non-partisan race, but Port Orange voters stayed away in droves. 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.