published: Friday, November 23, 2012
Recount finally finishes
GREG JONES | Staff Writer
Lake County School Board member Rosanne Brandeburg and Mount Dora City Council hopeful Ed Rowlett had to wait 10 days after the General Election to be declared winners in their respective races.
After a recount lasting three days, Brandeburg was credited with 61,542 votes, 50.04 percent of the ballots cast, to defeat fellow board member Jim Miller for Seat 2. He was credited with winning 61,440 votes, or 49.96 percent.
In the Mount Dora race for Seat 3 on the council, Rowlett was leading incumbent Jim Yatsuk by a single vote going into the recount. Rowlett won by a two-vote margin, 721, or 50.07 of the ballots cast, to Yatsuk's 719, or 49.93 percent.
"I increased my winning by 50 percent," Rowlett said with a smile Friday outside the Supervisors of Elections Office. "I learned a lot from this process. This was new to me, and I'm looking forward to working with the other council members. I want to represent the citizens of Mount Dora."
Brandeburg said she is grateful for the victory. She credited the volunteers on her campaign and voters in Lake County for believing in her.
"It was a long process, and it was tedious a process, and I'm so happy it is over," she said. "I'm happy to have the opportunity to serve Lake County school for another four years. We have a number of things going well for our district. Our test scores are improving. Our graduation rates are improving. Our students are getting their career and tech education and certifications. Our schools are doing well, and I'm just honored and proud this has worked out."
Both Nov. 6 races were decided by half a percentage point or less, so Florida law mandated a recount.
During the primary election on Aug. 14, Miller received more votes than Brandeburg, the Seat 2 incumbent, but not enough to win outright.
Because school district lines were redrawn, Miller lives in the new District 2 and decided to run in his new district as opposed to serving out the final two years of his current term. District 2 consists of Fruitland Park, Leesburg and Lady Lake.
Miller said he will become an "advocate" for education, and he said he is probably more comfortable in that role. He said he will continue to push for more technology in schools, and he will be able to talk to board members regularly. He said as a board member he could only talk to other board members at meetings.
Miller didn't really expect the recount to give him a victory.
"I think Emogene (Stegall) knows how to count by now," he said of the 11-term elections supervisor before the recount results were announced Friday. "I really don't think it's going to be a different result. It would be a million and one shot if things change.
"It is a different demographic (than the mid-term elections)," Miller said. "She (Brandeburg) worked really hard. They had a million signs out there -- more than me. She out signed me. Those little red apples (signs) got me."