jessica davis campaign speech

Primary Election Results

Representative in Congress District 6

Charles E. Davis 15.90%
Michael Waltz 84.10%

Representative in Congress District 7

Erika Benfield 6.3%
Brady Duke 9.86%
Ted Edwards 4.45%
Cory Mills 47.99%
Rusty Roberts 3.52%
Anthony Sabatini 22.80%
Armando Al Santos 1.96%
Scott Sturgill 3.13%

Commissioner of Agriculture

James W. Shaw 30.40%
Wilton Simpson 69.60%

State Senator District 7

Travis Hunton 64.63%
Gerry James 35.37%

State Representative District 29

Webster Barnaby 50.10%
Elizabeth Fetterhoff 49.90%

State Representative District 30

Robyn Hattaway 24.38%
Chase Tramont 75.62%

United States Senator

Ricardo De La Fuente 2.40%
Val Demings 89.52%
Brian Rush 4.20%
William Sanchez 3.88%

Representative in Congress District 7

Hilsia "Tatiana" Fernandez 21.95%
Karen Green 44.11%
Al Krulick 20.47%
Allek Pastrana 13.47%

Governor and Lieutenant

Charlie Crist 58.17%
Cadence Daniel 2.95%
Nicole "Nikki" Fried 35.78%
Robert L. Willis 3.10%

Attorney General

Aramis Ayala 45.58%
Jim Lewis 28.80%
Daniel Uhlfelder 25.62%

Commissioner of Agriculture

Naomi Esther Blemur 45.94%
J.R. Gaillot 20.81%
Ryan Morales 33.25%

State Senator District 8

Richard Paul Dembinsky 15.47%
Andrea Williams 84.53%

County Judge 7th Judicial Circuit, Group 5

Wesley "Wes" Heidt 52.60%
Sara Howeller 47.40%

Sherrise Boyd, Jake Johansson, Andy Kelly, Doug Pettit

Sherrise Boyd 20.91%
Jake Johansson 33.88%
Andy Kelly 21.49%
Doug Pettit 23.72%

Victor M. Ramos, David Santiago, Julio “David” Sosa

Victor M. Ramos 30.20%
David Santiago 45.58%
Julio "David" Sosa 24.22%

Albert Bouie, Georgann K. Carnicella, Jaclyn Carrell, Jamie Haynes, Virginia “Ginny-Beth” Joiner

Albert L. Bouie 25.47%
Georgann K. Carnicella 5.85%
Jaclyn Carrell 10.41%
Jamie Haynes 43.43%
Virginia "Ginny-Beth" Joiner 14.84%

Justin Kennedy, Kim Short, Jessie Thompson

Justin Kennedy 33.56%
Kim Short 32.65%
Jessie Thompson 33.79%

Ruben Colon, Fred Lowry

Ruben Colon 51.34%
Fred Lowry 48.66%

City of DeLand

Chris Cloudman, Buz Nesbit, Reggie Williams

Chris Cloudman 46.98%
Buz Nesbit 19.69%
Reggie Williams 33.33%

Jessica Davis, Deirdre Dukes Perry

Jessica Davis 76.44%
Deirdre Dukes Perry 23.56%

Matthew Johnson, Kevin Reid

Matthew Johnson 35.21%
Kevin Reid 64.79%

Troy Bradley, Daniel Reed

Troy A. Bradley 44.23%
Daniel Reed 55.77%

City of Deltona

Santiago Avila Jr, Heidi K. Herzberg, Gus Kostianis

Santiago Avila Jr 35.49%
Heidi K. Herzberg 48.77%
Gus Kostianis 15.74%

Town of Pierson

L. James Anderson, Kelly A. Green, Brandy Peterson

L. James Anderson 31%
Kelly A. Green 21.03%
Brandy Peterson 42.07%

11:00 P.M. 26.43 percent of registered voters came out for the primary. On average, 26-28 percent of Volusia County voters vote in Primary Elections. After tonight, 620 absentee ballots require signature verification before they can be counted. Signatures have until Friday, Aug. 29 to be verified.

School Board District 3 heading for a runoff

10:49 P.M. In the razor-tight race for Volusia County School Board District 3, which includes a portion of Southwest Volusia, candidates Justin Kennedy and Jessie Thompson are expected to go to a runoff in the November general election. Kennedy received 9,422 votes, while Thompson received 9,485, a difference of only 63 votes.

The third candidate, Kim Short, fell short with 9,164 votes, a difference of 258 votes from Kennedy.

Deltona Mayor Heidi Herzberg will face Santiago Avila in mayoral race

Deltona’s incumbent mayor, Heidi Herzberg, will face Santiago Avila Jr. in the November runoff. 

Challenger Gus Kostianis was knocked out of the Deltona mayoral race, and incumbent Herzberg failed to receive more than 50 percent of the votes. That means that she and Avila will face off in the general election this November.

Herzberg, who is fighting for the chance to serve a second term, received 48.77 percent of the votes, while Kostianis and Avila received 15.74 percent and 35.49 percent, respectively.

“I’ve got to regroup and focus on the general election. I’ve got to reach out to the people who voted for Gus, and figure out why they didn’t vote for me. More than 50 percent of the people who voted in this election want a different direction for Deltona,” said Avila. 

Herzberg could not be reached for comment.


Deltona Republican, Democrat to face off in Volusia County Council District 5 runoff

10:11 P.M. The race for Volusia County Council District 5, which covers Southwest Volusia, including Deltona, saw no conclusive victor. Two candidates, David Santiago and Victor Ramos, will move forward to a runoff election in November. Santiago is a registered Republican, and Ramos is a registered Democrat.

“It’s taking it to the second round, and I’m looking forward to talking further with residents of District 5. I’m willing to work with the chair on overdevelopment and the environment, which is something I’ve always advocated,” Ramos told The Beacon. “Congratulations to [David] Sosa for keeping it a clean race, and I look forward to working with Sosa and his supporters as we move forward to November.”

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN Volusia County Council District 5 candidate Victor Ramos with his campaign sign

Santiago, meanwhile, who led Ramos with 45.58 percent of the vote, wished things weren’t so close.

“I wish we could have gotten just a little more,” he said.

Had he broken 50 percent of the vote, he would have won a seat on the Volusia County Council outright. 

Ramos took home 30.20 percent of the vote, while David Sosa, a candidate endorsed by Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower, received 24.22 percent.

Fetterhoff and Barnaby to go to recount in race for state Representative District 29

In state House District 29, the vote is too close to decide which Republican candidate, Elizabeth Fetterhoff or Webster Barnaby, who were forced into District 29 by redistricting after the 2020 U.S. census, is the victor.

The difference is only 31 votes, with Barnaby at 7,446 or 50.1 percent, and Fetterhoff with 7,415, or 49.9 percent. At only a .2-percent difference, the contest between Fetterhoff and Barnaby will be decided by a manual recount.

Vote-by-mail ballots tallied last

9:57 P.M. Just before 9 p.m., Volusia County was reporting all the precinct results and early voting results, but was still tallying vote-by-mail ballots, which could flip the results in some races.

At 9 p.m. tonight, the Volusia County Elections Office was reporting that 60,670 residents had voted by mail, while 40,033 voted in person at the polls and 16,659 took advantage of early voting.

The voter turnout was 28.82 percent.

Volusia County Council at-large race moves to runoff

9:47 P.M. In the race for the at-large seat on the Volusia County Council, two Republicans will move forward to a November runoff.

Jake Johansson of Port Orange was the front-runner with 33.88 percent of the votes. 

Doug Pettit of Ormond Beach, the candidate endorsed by Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower, brought in 23.72 percent of the vote. He will move on to a November runoff against Johansson.

Pettit could not be reached for comment.

Johansson told The Beacon he was honored to move to the November runoff and to pull in the plurality of votes after “a very tough fight.”

The next couple of months will be interesting, he said. Johansson said he looks to bring a “diversity of thought” to the County Council by listening to all of his constituents, not just the especially vocal ones.

Left behind in the primary were Andy Kelly, who received 21.49 percent of the vote, and Sherrise Boyd, who took home 20.91 percent.

Cory Mills, Karen Green move forward from crowded primaries

9:03 P.M. In the race for U.S. House District 7, Republican candidate Cory Mills and Democrat Karen Green will move on to the November general election.

Mills took home 47.99 percent of the vote, with Republican firebrand Anthony Sabatini coming in a distant second place to be the Republican nominee with 22.8 percent of the vote. In that race, just one candidate, Erika Benfield of DeBary, was from West Volusia. Benfield took home just 6.3 percent of the vote.

Green, a Democratic Party strategist, received 44.11 percent of the vote. Her opponents, Tatiana Fernandez, Allek Pastrana and Al Krulick will not move on to the general election in November.

Kevin Reid keeps DeLand City Commission seat

8:57 P.M. With all but the vote-by-mail ballots counted, incumbent DeLand City Commissioner Kevin Reid appeared safe in Seat 5. Reid had 64.79 percent of the vote, to challenger Matthew Johnson’s 35.21 percent.

Reid said while he was glad the election was over tonight, instead of heading into a Nov. 8 runoff, he was happy to have had the chance to hear from voters on the campaign trail.

Reid said Johnson had tapped into DeLand residents’ desire for change, and “those voices need to be heard.”

Growth and the problems it presents, Reid said, are definitely at the top of DeLand voters’ list of concerns.

“I’m happy to serve another four years,” Reid said.

Incumbent Colón will stay on School Board 

With all of the precincts reporting votes, Volusia County School Board District 5 incumbent Ruben Colón will remain in his seat by a narrow margin of 363 votes. 

Colón was challenged by Volusia County Council Member Fred Lowry, who switched to the School Board race as he was term-limited on the County Council.

“The reality is, I wasn’t running against Fred Lowry, I was running against the governor,” Colón said. “I’m grateful my community believed in me enough to allow me to continue to be the School Board member for District 5.”

Lowry’s conservative positions echoed the anti-LGBTQ+ culture-wars positions and policies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had endorsed Lowry. 

Colón watched results come in at home with his family. After speaking with The Beacon, Colón said he was on his way to go pick up more of his campaign signs.

Colón received 51.07 percent of the vote, while Lowry received 48.93 percent.

Lowry could not be reached for comment.

Two DeLandites will face off in School Board District 1 runoff

8:33 P.M. In the race for Volusia County School Board District 1, incumbent Jamie Haynes will move on to a runoff election against DeLandite Al Bouie.

Haynes took 43.51 percent of the vote, while Bouie took 25.41 percent.

In a speech at a Gator’s Dockside election watch party, Bouie said the fight for the School Board had just begun.

“I still believe we can have better schools than what we have,” he said. “I think we can have an A-rating if we get better School Board members.”

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN School Board District 1 runner-up Al Bouie speaks to a crowd of his supporters at Gator’s Dockside in DeLand. “We put our sweat equity into it, and now we hope it pays off,” he said. Bouie will face incumbent Jamie Haynes in a November runoff election.

Bouie, a Democrat, will face off against Haynes, a Republican, in November.

They previously faced each other in the 2018 election, where Haynes defeated Bouie by 1,652.

“It’s me and Al Bouie, again. It’s a rematch,” Haynes laughed. “We’ve known each other, and we’re respectful — even during early voting, we would sit side by side waving at supporters and talking. We don’t have any issue — we’re not going to fight. We’re going to behave as adults should behave, because children are watching.” 

Three candidates will not continue on to the November runoff: Jaclyn Carrell, Georgann Carnicella and Ginny-Beth Joiner. Joiner led the pack with 14.77 percent of the votes, Carrell received 10.47 percent, while Carnicella got 5.83 percent.

DeLand Seat 4: Bar owner Dan Reed wins outright

8:15 P.M. Dan Reed, owner of the popular DeLand nightspot Cafe DaVinci, won the DeLand City Commission Seat 4 race outright, with 55.88 percent of the vote, to retired Greater Union First Baptist Church Pastor Troy Bradley’s 44.12 percent.

It was Reed’s first run for elected office. He currently serves as a member of the DeLand Planning Board.

“It was an educational and fantastic experience,” Reed said. “I very much look forward to serving the people of DeLand for the next four years.”

Reed said he also looks forward to working closely with Bradley, whom he befriended on the campaign trail.

“To make sure his 44 percent, that their concerns are addressed, as well,” Reed said.

DeLand Mayor race to go to runoff

With all six participating precincts reporting results, the race for mayor of DeLand is headed to a November runoff race. To win outright, a candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote, but Chris Cloudman led the pack with 47.3 percent. 

“There’s been a lot of people who’ve come forward to support me that I would never have known would support me otherwise,” Cloudman told The Beacon. “We’ll continue to serve this community no matter what.”

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN DeLand mayoral candidate Chris Cloudman smiles for a photo with his daughter, and her friends outside of the Elusive Grape in Downtown DeLand where Cloudman and some of his close friends and family watched election results come in.

In second place was Reggie Wliliams, who feels confident going into November. 

“The goal is to do what we need to do to win in November,” Williams told The Beacon

Williams watched results come in at Gator’s Dockside with other candidates, like DeLand City Commission incumbent Jessica Davis. A friend of Davis’ told The Beacon that the original reservation at Gator’s was for just 40 people, but more attendees have arrived to join the candidates in watching results come in. 

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN DeLand mayoral candidate Reggie Williams addresses a crowd of supporters at Gator’s Dockside in DeLand on primary election night.

In third place for mayor is candidate Buz Nesbit, who followed election results from the Grapevine Wine Bar in the Victoria Commons neighborhood in DeLand. 

Nesbit will not be going to the November runoff, but stated his support for Williams going forward.

“I’m very disappointed in DeLand, but in full support of Reggie,” he said.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN DeLand mayoral candidate Buz Nesbit watched election results come in at Grapevine Wine Bar in the Victoria Commons neighborhood in DeLand. Upon realizing he would not move to the November runoff race for mayor of DeLand, Nesbit endorsed Reggie Williams.

Nesbit and Williams are registered Democrats, while Cloudman is a Republican.

Pierson candidates headed to runoff

7:52 P.M. With Pierson’s only precinct counted before 8 p.m. tonight, it appeared political newcomer Brandy Peterson was headed to a Nov. 8 runoff with retired Pierson Public Works chief L. James Anderson.

Peterson garnered 42.22 percent of the vote; Anderson had 30.74 percent. More than 50 percent of the vote was required to win the race outright. 

There were four candidates on the ballot; Kelly Green got 21.11 percent, and Dale Barnhart, who had withdrawn too late to have his name removed from the ballot, got 5.93 percent. 

Peterson has lived her whole life in Pierson and reared her now-adult children there, she said.

“Now maybe I just need to focus on the whole town’s kids,” she said.

She hopes to be part of preparing Pierson for the growth that seems headed its way.

“There’s lots of change. I just wanted to keep the small-town feel,” Peterson said.

Incumbent Jessica Davis will stay on DeLand City Commission

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN Jessica Davis at the Gators Dockside watch party.

With 4 of the 6 participating precincts reporting votes, DeLand City Commissioner Jessica Davis led her opponent, political newcomer Deirdre Dukes Perry, with nearly 77 percent of the vote. 

Davis said she is happy to continue serving.

“I’m excited to just get back to the business, and I’m ready to continue moving things forward in DeLand,” she said.

Davis watched election results roll in at Gator’s Dockside in DeLand with other local candidates, including Reggie Williams (for DeLand mayor) and Al Bouie (for School Board District 1) 

Early voting results loaded first

7:17 P.M. — Early voting results were loaded first this evening by the Volusia County Elections Office; there were a few items of note.

Incumbent County Judge Wesley Heidt appeared to be holding on to his seat on the bench by a narrow margin: 51 percent to challenger Sara Howeller’s 49 percent. 

The Volusia County Council at-large race showed Jake Johansson leading in early voting results, with Andy Kelly and Sherrise Boyd both polling about 22 percent, and Doug Pettit with 21 percent in early voting results.

Leaders in the five-candidate Volusia County School Board District 1 race were incumbent Jamie Haynes, with 39 percent in early voting, and Al Bouie with 28 percent.

In the race for School Board District 5, incumbent Ruben Colón leads his opponent Fred Lowry 52 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, the race for School Board District 3 is tight, with each of the three candidates — Justin Kennedy, Kim Short and Jessie Thompson — pulling in about a third of the vote. As of press time, with early voting results logged, Kennedy led Thompson by a scant 15 votes.

In the race for mayor of DeLand, Chris Cloudman had pulled ahead in early voting results with around 47 percent. Reggie Williams was in second place with 33 percent, and Buz Nesbit had around 20 percent. 

In other races for DeLand City Commission, incumbent Jessica Davis had a comfortable lead in early voting over her opponent, Deirdre Dukes Perry, with 77 percent of the vote. Early voting showed incumbent Kevin Reid leading his challenger, Matthew Johnson, 64 percent to Johnson’s 36 percent.

In the race to replace Chris Cloudman in Seat 4, Dan Reed was edging Troy Bradley in early voting, 55 percent to 45 percent.

— Noah Hertz and Barb Shepherd

Republicans outvoting Democrats

6:50 P.M. — Data reported by the Volusia County Elections Office shows Republicans outvoting Democrats in today’s primary election.

As of 6:50 p.m., 10 minutes before the polls closed, the Elections Office reported that 57,964 Republicans had cast ballots, compared to 41,905 Democrats and 15,533 voters not registered with any political party. Another 1,315 voters registered with other parties had voted.

Although several of the races on today’s ballot are partisan primaries in which only those registered with the political parties can vote, several more races — including city elections and County Council elections — are open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.

5:30 P.M. — With just a little more than two hours before the polls close at 7 p.m., the three men hoping to be mayor of DeLand were in a “well, we’ll see” mood.

The race features three fairly well-known candidates: current City Commissioner Chris Cloudman, current DeLand Planning Board Member Buz Nesbit, and former Volusia County administrator Reggie Williams.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN From left are DeLand mayoral candidates Buz Nesbit, Reggie Williams, and Chris Cloudman. The three are pictured at a debate hosted by the West Volusia Beacon and Stetson University in June.

All three agreed it’s likely that today’s voting will result in a runoff between the two men who get the most votes.

However, if one of the three gets more than 50 percent in today’s balloting, he will be DeLand’s mayor.

“I feel pretty good. I’m thankful to be in it, but I don’t have a crystal ball,” Williams said.

He and his crew began the day early, visiting polling places and waving signs in the heart of Downtown DeLand at Woodland Boulevard and New York Avenue.
Cloudman’s team also started early, visiting first the polling place at the Sanborn Center in Earl Brown Park.

“I’m feeling good. We’ll see,” Cloudman said.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Cloudman was headed over to pick up his campaign signs from the polling place at DeLand Middle School, not wanting the signs to be in the way of students and their parents arriving for school Wednesday morning.

Nesbit was making plans to meet with supporters at the Grapevine on Victoria Commons, where his campaign adventure began months ago, as he met with friends who encouraged him to run.

“I am a little nervous. I’m feeling excited and I’m feeling hopeful,” Nesbit said.
He said he was encouraged by meeting at polling places today with voters who told him “I voted for you.”

One voter, he said, made their choice because of his name: Buz. It’s a name the mayoral candidate shares with a heroic character from the Toy Story movies.
As of 5:30 p.m., 14,708 people had voted at DeLand precincts, but not all of them are necessarily DeLand residents eligible to vote in city elections. DeLand has 25,724 registered voters, according to the Elections Office.
— Noah Hertz and Barb Shepherd

3:35 p.m. — Volusia County Elections Supervisor Lisa Lewis said voting has gone fairly smoothly so far today, with two machine breakdowns and a nearly late opening the only reported problems.

The machine counting ballots for Precinct 210 at George Marks Elementary School in DeLand, Lewis said, suddenly stopped accepting ballots very early this morning. The machine was replaced, and the 15 ballots already inside it were counted by the new machine.

“Everything balanced,” Lewis said.

The other breakdown happened, she said, when a voter at Creekside Middle School in Port Orange wanted to vote a completely blank ballot.

“I don’t know why, but that’s what they wanted to do,” Lewis said.

The machine wouldn’t accept the ballot, and the voter tried to force it in, jamming the machine. That machine also was replaced, Lewis said.

At Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, where Precincts 606 and 614 vote, no one was on hand to open the doors for poll workers who had planned to start their day at 5:30 a.m., Lewis said.

After a few phone calls with university officials, the doors were finally unlocked at 6:42 a.m., and the polling place opened on time at 7 a.m.

As of about 2:30 p.m., with heavy rain just beginning across the northern part of the county, Lewis said a voter turnout of about 25 percent had been achieved, counting all three methods of voting: by mail, early and in-person.

“I always hope for 35 percent, but I don’t know if we’ll get that,” Lewis said.

Elections Office data shows that the August primary in 2020, a presidential-election year, drew 27.95 percent of voters.

Near the end of the day Monday, Aug. 22, just more than 18 percent of Volusia County voters had already cast ballots, either by mail or during early voting.

The Elections Office said 408,838 Volusia County residents are eligible to vote in this election, including 157,163 Republicans, 125,651 Democrats, 117,572 people registered with no party affiliation, and 8,452 registered with other parties.

Although several of the races on today’s ballot are partisan primaries in which only those registered with the political parties can vote, several more races — including city elections and County Council elections — are open to all voters, regardless of party affiliation.

The polls close today at 7 p.m. To find out where you should vote, go here:

Vote-by-mail ballots may be delivered to the Elections Office, 1750 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand, before 7 p.m. today. There are no ballot drop boxes available on Election Day.
— Barb Shepherd

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