by Michael Salerno
For Hometown News
In three East Volusia cities, incumbents kept their seats in three of five races, with a newcomer unseating one and another race headed to a runoff in November.
Port Orange Mayor Allen Green and South Daytona Councilman Brandon Young defeated their challengers in landslide victories.
Mayor Green, a lifelong Port Orange resident who's spent three decades as a mayor and councilman, took 65 percent of the vote to defeat newcomer Jonathan Kephart, while Mr. Young, vice president of human resources at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, defeated Jean Klune with 64 percent of the vote.
The mayor said he sought re-election to help resolve several ongoing city issues such as pension debt, labor negotiations with city unions, and finding a new city manager to replace the outgoing Ken Parker.
"I think there's some issues that need to be addressed. I feel I'm knowledgeable in those issues," he said. "It's rewarding to be elected in this community."
In Ponce Inlet, where the cost of ongoing property rights litigation with Pacetta LLC over a proposed working waterfront remains the town's main issue, voters favored incumbent Joe Perrone over code enforcement board chairman Joe Villanella for town council seat 4 by just one vote - 609 to 608 - while in the race for seat 2, Bill Milano, vice chairman of the planning board, unseated incumbent Scott Meacham with 55 percent of the vote.
State law required a recount in the Seat 4 race because the two candidates were separated by a margin of 1/2 of a percent or less of the votes cast. The recount confirmed Mr. Perrone as the victor.
Mr. Perrone, who ran unopposed last year, said he expected to lose his re-election bid because he supported a tax increase for the purpose of funding a possible settlement in the Pacetta lawsuit.
He said he was "ecstatic" when he received a call on election night that the vote was tied. The tie was broken when one absentee ballot from Ponce Inlet was counted, with a vote cast for him.
"My election is proof that every vote does count," he said.
This is not the first time Mr. Villanella lost a town council race by a close margin. In last year's race for Town Council Seat 3, Mary Hoss defeated him by 14 votes.
Mr. Milano, who said his top priorities in office would be to resolve the litigation and improve communication in city government, described his reaction to his win as "shocked but thrilled."
"I'm really pleased," he said, adding he would continue his habit of regularly attending town meetings to prepare for his first day in office in November.
This was Mr. Milano's second run for the town council. He lost to Tom Rutledge in 2009.
The race for the District 3 seat in Port Orange remains unresolved. Incumbent Bob Pohlmann, who earned 41 percent of the vote in the primary, and Drew Bastian, who took 31 percent, will face off in the Nov. 6 runoff. Another candidate, Ted Noftall, had 28 percent.