110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
posted Aug 28, 2014 - 3:55:40pm
DeLand Mayor Bob Apgar, re-elected by a landslide Aug. 26, said “the nastiest and most bizarre election” he’s ever been involved in will also be his last.
Fresh from a campaign that had the other side continually slinging insults at Apgar and his family members, as well as at city employees, the mayor cautioned those concerned about DeLand’s future to prepare now for the end of his term in 2018.
“Concerned community leaders need to start thinking about potential candidates, or we could wake up in four short years with the wrong leadership,” he said.
Apgar, 67, has been challenged for re-election five times during his long tenure at City Hall, and has won every time.
This time, he won by his widest margin yet, with 72.75 percent of the 4,690 votes cast, against challenger Pat Johnson’s 27.25 percent. Apgar called the victory margin “humbling.”
“In the final analysis, I believe it means our citizens believe in positives and not negatives,” Apgar said. “I’m truly elated.”
He thanked his family, his donors and his campaign volunteers.
Although Apgar stayed positive during the campaign, he didn’t mince words the day after the election in talking about the tactics used by supporters of Johnson, most of whom also supported City Commission candidates Scott Price and Krystal Brown, who also lost decisively.
Apgar said it was time for those people to hear from him.
“They were blinded by hate, and failed to see the real picture,” he said. “I learned a lot about two-faced people, and people who have no sense of honor, dignity or fair play. Lies, half-truths and misrepresentations have no place in politics or — more importantly — in dealings with others.”
Apgar continued, “That junk is not our community, or what DeLand or its citizens are. DeLand is a great community made up of good people. Those few malcontents are a minute minority, and do not represent what DeLand is, or the kind of people who live here.”
Johnson, who talked to The Beacon at Republican Headquarters in DeLand, had few words.
"I'm not talking to the press, based on what they did to me during the campaign. … Flat-out lies," Johnson said.
Johnson blamed the news media for destroying his campaign by reporting, for example, that Florida State University had no record of him attending school there, although he claimed in campaign literature to have earned an FSU bachelor’s degree.
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