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Spivey charges past Takac for seat on bench

The race pitted two Ocala lawyers, both in private practice, against each other.

By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published November 3, 2004


INVERNESS - Stephen Spivey was running strong against Michael Takac in the 5th Judicial Circuit Group 10 race.

The circuit is made up of five counties: Citrus, Hernando, Marion, Lake and Sumter. The winner will divide his time between Citrus and Hernando counties.

Spivey was in the mood to celebrate Tuesday night. He gathered at his office with supporters for a victory party.

"I'm feeling a little better than I was earlier today," he said. "We've been at this since May."

Spivey said he felt relieved that the race was finally at an end. No more campaigning and worrying about the election, he said.

He and Takac were the top two vote recipients in the Aug. 31 primary. Since neither took more than 50 percent of the vote, Spivey and Takac headed to the general election.

Spivey said he worried about the results of the race until he saw the numbers coming in from the various counties.

He said he planned to take today off.

This judicial seat, labeled Group 10 for organizational purposes, has been based out of Marion County in the past. But because of changes in judicial assignments, the winner will preside in Citrus and Hernando counties.

Circuit judges have jurisdiction throughout the 5th Judicial Circuit.

Spivey, 52, has handled civil litigation through his private practice in Ocala for the past decade. In state and federal courts, he has represented investors with claims against their financial advisers and consumers fighting fraudulent business practices.

He also has volunteered on the boards of nonprofit organizations in Marion.

Takac, 42, almost won a seat on the bench two years ago, receiving 47 percent of the vote in a race against longtime Circuit Judge Carven Angel.