Yesterday’s City Council election results are in and incumbents Chopper Davis and Jeff Starkey won by a comfortable margin.
Four candidates appeared on the ballot, but Starkey topped the charts with a whopping 781 votes, with 43% of voters marking his name on the ballot. In this election, voters can mark votes for two candidates with the top two vote earners winning a seat.
Davis earned 602 votes at 33% to win a seat and challenger Judith Allen earned 430 votes.
A fourth candidate, MJ Faqouseh, appeared on the ballot but votes cast were not tallied because he was disqualified, according to a press release from the City of New Port Richey and a statement from the Supervisor of Elections office. Faqouseh was disqualified due to an error with a qualification payment made to the City. The City’s records show he was disqualified on March 19, 2019–a full month after the end of the City’s qualification period for candidates.
The winning candidates will be sworn in at New Port Richey’s next City Council meeting which is scheduled for April 23, 2019 at 7 PM. Council members serve three year terms and are limited to a total of nine years consecutively served in office. Both candidates are now in their third terms and will be ineligible for the next election set for 2022.
The City’s next election is set for next April for the office of Mayor–whom also serves as a member of and chair of the City Council. The incumbent for that seat is Mayor Rob Marlowe, who is currently serving his second term as Mayor but previously served a concurrent term as a City Council member and Vice-Mayor. I have been informed that he is eligible for one additional term.
Two additional seats Council seats will be available the following year in 2021, currently filled by Peter Altman and Matt Murphy.