published: Friday, November 09, 2012
Gearhart defeats Radzik for mayor
ROXANNE BROWN | Staff Writer
There will be a mix of new and old faces on city councils in South Lake.
Political newcomer Timothy Bates bested Clermont native Tim Murry to replace retiring Seat 1 Clermont City Council member Jack Hogan. Bates, who won 55 percent of the vote, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night, but his website said he would like to bring his education, experience and leadership the council.
In Groveland, Seat 3 incumbent Tim Loucks narrowly won 51 percent of the vote to challenger Dina Sweatt's 49 percent.
Things went easier for Seat 5 incumbent John Griffin, won 61 percent of the vote to challenger Willie Dykes' 39 percent.
People will see a new face in the mayor's seat (District 1) because James "Jim" Gearhart captured 56 percent of the vote to Mayor Mike Radzik's 44 percent.
Gearhart, who has served on the council previously, said Tuesday that he felt humbled by his win.
"I just want to thank all the citizens of Groveland for entrusting me with the position of mayor and I will do my best to make them all proud of me," he said. "I also want to actively start searching for grants to improve the senior center, parks and roads for Groveland."
Radzik, who has served Groveland for the last past years, said he is at peace with the voters' wishes.
"You have to respect the democratic process," he said. "The city residents felt change was needed and that's how it will go. I don't have any regrets, however. "I can put my head on my pillow tonight and know I did my best. It's been a great two years and any decisions I made, I made for the benefit of the city and its citizens."
Radzik said that regardless, he plans to remain involved.
"I'm not going away," he said. "I'm still going to be heard by attending meetings and fighting for what I believe in."
Mascotte's voters chose to keep Seat 2 incumbent Louise Thompson and Seat 4 incumbent Brenda Brasher. Thompson won 53 percent of the vote and Brasher captured 55 percent.
In Minneola, a new face will be sitting in Seat 2 on the city council, with newcomer Lisa Jones taking 56 percent of the vote to unseat Debbie Flinn.
Lastly, in the town of Montverde, where two at large seats were up for election, one went to incumbent Joe Wyncoop (41 percent) who will be joined by Jim Peacock (31 percent). Daniel McQuaig, who was in for the run, came in third (28 percent).
Although no candidate received 50 percent of the vote in Montverde, Mayor Troy Bennett said the results stand, according to the town's charter.
"Basically, it's a one-to-one vote, so it's a total vote or popular vote win," he said. "Our charter doesn't call for a candidate needing 50 percent of the vote to win."