Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers celebrated his narrow victory over former Mayor Bob Hackworth at an intimate gathering at a downtown restaurant on Tuesday night.
The results from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office show less than 1,000 votes split Eggers and his opponent.
Eggers said he was honored and happy about the results of his race.
"The residents of the city recognize that all of our improvements are done respectfully," he said. "We've improved the city incrementally and respectfully."
Eggers celebrated with a small, quiet gathering of 10 to 20 friends in a room at Sea Sea Riders Restaurant, where Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski was also in attendance when the results were announced.
Commissioner Dave Carson, who ran again for his seat, had also planned to celebrate at the restaurant. The Eggers and Carson campaigns were run by many of the same supporters. Carson was not at the restaurant when the final tally came through. His challenger, Heather Gracy, showed a strong lead over him as preliminary results were announced.
"It's bittersweet for a lot of people here," Eggers said. "Politics is not easy. My heart is with my friend (Carson) tonight."
Hackworth had mounted a massive campaign war chest against Eggers, putting some local predictions in his favor.
But in the end, Eggers received 9,105 votes, or 52 percent of the vote, against Hackworth's 8,259, or 48 percent.
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Newcomer Gracy Wins Seat 3 Over Incumbent
Political newcomer Heather Gracy partied with a large crowd on the back patio at Kelly's on Tuesday after winning Seat 3 away from incumbent David Carson.
She took a resounding lead over Commissioner Carson as the first results from mail ballots and early voting began to roll in. She never slipped back. Gracy carried 58 percent of the vote to Carson's 42 percent.
At least 100 people, including Commissioner Julie Scales turned out to celebrate with Gracy and her family.
"I think it very much echoes the change that people wanted to see," Gracy said with a celebratory beer in her hand at Kelly's.
She said she was upbeat all day despite the statistical odds against her in a race against a well-established, political incumbent.
"Even though it rained, I saw that as a good sign," she said.
All 11 precincts in Dunedin had reported as of 8:16 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Commissioner Julie Scales, uncontested, keeps her seat.
All the amendments to Dunedin's city charter passed, including language that would impose term limits on city officials. Officials will be limited to two, four-year terms beginning with the candidates this election.
Stay with Patch for complete coverage of local races.
Editor's Note: Both Eggers and Gracy wanted Dunedin Patch to make sure we included a note about their appreciation for the support of their spouses, friends, family, campaign workers, volunteers and contributors.
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