LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Two races in Lynn Haven are headed for run-offs and a third race may also head into a run off when the final votes are tallied.
In the race for Mayor of Lynn Haven includes Joe Brown, Ellyne Fields and Jesse Nelson.
Brown got 901 votes and 26,84 percent of the vote while Ellyne Fields got 1,240 votes or 36.94 percent and Jesse L. Nelson received 1,216 or 36.22 percent of the vote. Fields and Nelson will now head into a run-off.
Both Nelson and Fields had their own watch parties with their supporters.
Fields said she has enjoyed the entire campaigning process and is now trusting in the residents to officially vote her into office.
“I’m so excited for everybody out there that did not vote the first time, please get out there and vote for me the second time please… this is really important for me,” Fields said. “I promise as mayor of Lynn Haven, I will not let you down and I will do such a great job for all of you.”
Nelson said he is running because he cares for the community and thinks his leadership skills will allow him to lead the city in a positive direction.
“It just makes me feel confident and humbled that people just thought I would be a great mayor for the city of Lynn Haven,” Nelson said. “It lets me know that I have more work to do, but I have a solid foundation going into runoff.”
In the race for Commissioner Seat 3 of Lynn Haven includes George H. Hines Jr., Stacie Houchins, Dane Messick and Jamie Warrick.
George Hines Jr. got 23.44 percent of the vote with 780 votes. Stacie Houchins got 597 votes and 17.94 percent of the vote. Dane R. Messick has 527 votes and 15.84 percent of the vote. Jamie Warrick got 1,423 votes and 42.77 percent of the vote.
Hines and Warrick are now headed to a run-off.
Warrick said getting the amount of votes he did is encouraging, and he is excited to hopefully serve the city. He said his main goal is also transparency and to get the city’s finances under control.
“One of my biggest concerns was the city debt,” Warrick said. “We’re at about $7 million worth of debt, and we need to cut expenses and find more ways to bring revenue to the city.”
Hines, Warrick’s opponent, was born and raised in Panama City. He served in the U.S. Army for over 20 years and also in local law enforcement.
In the race for Commissioner Seat 4 of Lynn Haven includes Brian Dick, Brian Gray and incumbent Judith Tinder.
Tinder may not face a run-off when the final vote is tallied but the unofficial numbers currently have her in run-off territory with 49.88 percent and 1,663 votes. Brian Lee Gray would be in that run-off with 964 votes and 28.91 percent and Brian K. Dick is out of the race with 707 votes and 21.21 percent of the vote.
Tinder spent her election evening at her restaurant, Victoria’s Last Bite, with her friends. She said she is excited and optimistic heading into the runoff.
“I’m happy with [the results],” Tinder said. “After being here for four years, I think it speaks volumes of the citizens saying they’re happy with what I’m doing, so I’m very excited.”
Gray said he is at home quarantining and recovering from COVID-19, but despite his current illness, he is excited to listen to what people have to say through his social media pages.
“God’s really blessed us… My family and I are definitely on board to make a change in Lynn Haven, and the people have spoken,” Gray said. “Together, we can and will make Lynn Haven greater again.”
Lynn Haven voters rejected a push to amend and update the current charter. 1,944 people voted against the proposal and 1,449 voted for it. But they approved a property tax exemption for businesses. 2,141 voted for it and 1,285 voted against it.