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Kynes and Bujalski win in Dunedin

Incumbents are re-elected to the City Commission.

By Tamara El-Khoury, Times Staff Writer
Published March 13, 2008


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DUNEDIN - Voters re-elected two incumbents to the City Commission on Tuesday and barely approved a controversial amendment that changes the way candidates will be elected in the future.

The top two vote-getters were Vice Mayor Deborah Kynes and Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski. Kynes got 3,074 votes, and Bujalski received 2,391 votes. They beat political newcomer Arnold "Tony" Scruton, who got 1,767 votes.

"I'm extremely humbled and very thankful to the voters," Bujalski said. "I can't wait to get started."

Kynes said she was "ecstatic" about winning another term.

"I'm just very, very thankful for the broad-based support that I have," she said.

Scruton said he was pleased with the clean election and that he ran as hard as he could.

"The one good thing that I think will happen out of this is the two incumbents had to go out and talk to the people and talk about the issues," he said. "I think they will be better commissioners for it."

City Clerk Jerie Guegan estimated voter turnout at less than 15 percent of registered voters.

A charter amendment that changes the way future city commissioners will be elected barely passed, with 1,983 votes for it and 1,891 votes against it.

Currently, commissioners' terms are staggered, so only two seats come up for election at a time. Voters pick their top two candidates and the two candidates with the most votes win.

The ballot question asked Dunedin voters whether the city's charter should be amended to change to a numbered seating system. Under the new system, future candidates for the City Commission will run for specific seats. The candidate with the highest number of votes for each seat will win.

Three other administrative amendments were also easily approved.

Tamara El-Khoury can be reached at 727445-4181 or tel-khoury@sptimes.com.

[Last modified March 12, 2008, 22:10:20]


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