Incumbents all win in county constitutional races
Voters in this election clearly did not see any need to change anything in the property appraiser, tax collector and supervisor of elections offices. Leslie Swan carried the day by more than a 2-to-1 margin over challenger Sandi Harpring, 18,803 to 8,240.
That result, combined with the relief of the primary being finished and as it turned out rather uneventful, left a beaming Swan wrapping things up at the end of the night at the supervisor of elections office.
“I’m absolutely thrilled” she said, adding she was proud of running a positive campaign.
David Nolte literally has made a career out of running the Indian River County Property Appraiser’s office.
In January, he will have been there 32 years. He said being elected a ninth time was a “truly humbling experience.”
“I’d just like to say praise God and the voters of Indian River County,” he said.
Nolte has had a few elections when he was unopposed, but this time he mounted a vigorous campaign against challenger Tom Dehn, and won 16,659 to 10,029.
Dehn, a private-sector property appraiser, was backed by several disgruntled former employees of Nolte’s and some of the behind-the-scenes rhetoric and allegations got quite nasty.
In running the gauntlet of events, debates, sign-waving and canvassing door to door, Nolte said he was reminded of the wealth and diversity of skills and experience Indian River County has in its electorate.
“You get to talk to the people and it’s a real pleasure to get out and talk to them,” he said. “They’re highly educated and smart.”
Nolte is pushing 70 and he said he’ll have to wait and see how he feels before deciding whether he’ll seek a 10th term in 2016.
If not, he’s confident that the voters won’t have to look far to find someone to fill his shoes.
“There are six or seven people in the office who are far more qualified than my opponent this time and who can easily take over,” he said.
Political veteran Carole Jean Jordan hosted a party with more than 100 people at her home Tuesday night, both to celebrate her victory over former County Commissioner Tom Lowther and to thank volunteers, supporters and staff.
She easily won 11,448 to 7,469.
“It’s been a great evening,” she said, in between hugs and kisses from well-wishers.
“It’s been an overwhelming show of support tonight.”
“I think what you see on the campaign is people who are concerned about how their county is run, and each and every process they turned out,” Jordan said.
“What’s important is that people appreciate the job that I’ve done. When they come in our office, they’re treated with utmost courtesy and we do everything we can to help them.”
Jordan will face non-partisan candidate Barry Barnard in November.
Now that the election is over, the incumbents go back to work.
Nolte and Swan will reaffirm their oaths of office in January.
But really nothing has changed, and likely nothing will – at least for four years.
“We’ll just keep doing the same things that people have seemingly enjoyed us doing,” Nolte said.