School district tax passes by more than two-thirds
By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - Voters decided to stick with who they knew in the election races and decided to continue paying slightly higher taxes for education needs.
The difficult contest between Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar and challenger Bill McMullen, both Republicans, concluded with Sheriff Loar winning about 55 percent of the vote.
There is no Democrat challenger, so Sheriff Loar's second term is secure and will begin in January.
Another county constitutional officer, property appraiser David Nolte, was also victorious in his campaign for re-election, receiving 62 percent of the vote.
Mr. Nolte has served as property appraiser for the past 32 years and this is the first time in 16 years he was challenged. Thomas Dehn, a property appraiser by trade, was hopeful to unseat the incumbent and bring a fresh perspective to the office.
Tax collector Carole Jean Jordan won her primary race against fellow Republican Tom Lowther with 61 percent of the vote.
Ms. Jordan was selected to head the office by the Indian River County Republican committee after former tax collector-elect, Stan Mayfield, died before taking office.
She will face Barry Barnard, who is running under no party affiliation, in the November general election.
Leslie Swan was appointed supervisor of elections since the resignation of Kay Clem in 2010, but after the August primary, she can truly say the position is hers.
Ms. Swan beat challenger Sandi Harpring by the largest margin in any of the races, 70 percent to 30 percent.
County Commissioner Bob Solari will retain his seat on the commission for another four years after topping challengers Nick Thomas and Brian Heady with 56 percent of the vote.
The Republican nominee for the open seat on the commission was won by Tim Zorc, who beat out candidate Bea Gardner with 61 percent of the vote.
Gary Wheeler, who endorsed Mr. Zorc, is the outgoing commissioner for the same seat. Mr. Zorc will face Tony Donadio, an architect, in the general election.
Mr. Donadio is running under no party affiliation.
Sixty-six percent of voters approved a school district tax rate referendum that will take the place of two expiring taxes, a critical needs tax and a debt service tax from a 1990 bond referendum.
Taxpayers will pay 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value on top of the regular district tax.
The referendum will last four years.
For more information about the election, visit www.voteindianriver.com.