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By LOGAN NEILL
Published November 3, 2004
This time, key to presidency lies with Ohio
Martinez lead at just under 1 percent
Five judges on way to easily keeping seats
Justices' jobs appear safe, judging by early returns
Voters call it a draw in doctor-lawyer battle
Senate lead at just under 1 percent
Cantero, Bell easily hang onto seats
Coats easily beats former shock jock
Lines pose biggest problem for voters
Local roots, support boost Burke's victory
Pinellas Suncoast race close; fee hike fails
Voters approve higher tax to help Pinellas teachers, schools
Biggest voting gripe: long lines
BROOKSVILLE - High school teacher and coach Brent Gaustad and local NAACP chapter president Frankie Burnett were separated by a single vote, with absentee ballots outstanding in the Group 3 race for City Council late Tuesday.
In the other contest, David Pugh Jr. handily defeated a much more experienced politician, Pat Brayton, to win the City Council Group 2 seat Tuesday, according to preliminary results.
With the tight margin separating Gaustad and Burnett, the race will likely be decided by a mandatory recount today.
For Pugh, a political newcomer, getting 64 percent of the votes was gratifying.
"I haven't felt this excited since the birth of my children," Pugh said. "I had a huge amount of support from some great people. I don't think could have done it without them."
Pugh, a project manager with Civil-Tech Consulting Engineers Inc., said he expected a tough race from Brayton, a former two-term council member. He will complete the four-year seat being vacated by Vice Mayor Joe Bernardini.
Gaustad, 43, a teacher and coach at Hernando High, was leading in a three-way race that included Robert Osmond, 34, owner of Osmond Printing Inc. in Brooksville.
"It's very intense," said Gaustad, who said he was told that there were about 350 absentee ballots still to be counted. "We're just trying to hold our heads above water."
When contacted late Tuesday, Burnett said he was waiting for the results before he commented.
[Last modified November 2, 2004, 22:47:12]