More than 40 percent of registered voters in Hendry County exercised their right in the 2014 General Election, either by coming to the polls on Tuesday, taking advantage of the two-week early voting period or voting by mail, the Supervisor of Elections reported.
The race for Clewiston City Commission was decided Tuesday night, with incumbents Kristine Petersen and Phillip Roland cinching four-year terms on the board and newcomer Sherida Ridgdill securing a two-year term. According to the Supervisor of Elections website, Petersen received 30.06 percent of the votes, Roland received 22 percent of the votes and Ridgdill received 19.16 percent. The three candidates beat out commission hopefuls Donald Hughes and Jerry Cochrane, who received 16.98 percent and 11.8 percent, respectively.
Roland spoke with The Clewiston News the day after the election.
“I’m overwhelmed. I’m really happy. Looking back over the last two years, it’s been a roller coaster of experiences,” said Roland, who was happy to have claimed a four-year term the second time around. “Two years comes really quick. I love serving, but I don’t love putting myself out there every two years to be re-elected. That’s not fun to me.”
Roland also said the next four years could be big.
“There’s a possibility the airport could be started by the end of my four years,” he said of the prospective Airglades International Airport project. “I had the vision when I was 33, and now I’m 73. I had the vision 40 years ago of that being the freight depot of South Florida, and hell, I might live to see it happen. That’s a great thing and it’s a great thing to be involved.”
Roland also congratulated the two female candidates who were elected alongside him, saying that with a cohesive board, he believes a lot can be accomplished.
Ridgdill was not immediately available for comment the day after the election.
Hendry County voters also took to the polls to cast their vote for governor, the majority of whom voted for incumbent republican Rick Scott. Scott received 55.84 percent of the total votes in Hendry County, compared to Crist, who received 39.12 percent, according to the Supervisor of Elections website.
Statewide, Scott narrowly cinched the gubernatorial race, receiving about 48 percent of the votes, compared to Crist who received roughly 47 percent, according to Florida Election Watch.
The majority of Hendry County voters voted for incumbent democrat Alcee Hastings as representative of the 20th Congressional District. Hastings received 56.28 percent of the votes in Hendry County, compared to republican candidate Jay Bonner, who received 43.72 percent. Out of the total votes in the three counties represented in the 20th Congressional District, Hastings cinched the election with more than 80 percent of the votes.
Only one of the constitutional amendments passed with a 60 percent majority vote — the Water and Land Conservation amendment passed with 75 percent voting yes statewide. In Hendry County, the same amendment received 57.8 percent of voters choosing yes.
The controversial Medical Marijuana Amendment failed to get the 60 percent majority, falling short by roughly two percentage points statewide, according to Florida Election Watch.
In Hendry County, the same amendment saw 50.68 percent voting in favor of the amendment and 49.32 percent voting against it.
Full election results for Hendry County can be found at the Supervisor of Elections website.