Campaign finances no factor in political success

election night ray bolden supervisor of elections

Supervisor of Elections staff member Ray Bolden checks paperwork as the canvassing board behind him observes incoming results on election night.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 05:54 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Having a bigger campaign fund than opponents in this year’s municipal elections didn’t guarantee incumbents more votes.

If having more campaign money than challengers means certain reelection, Charles Baugh Jr.'s $8,354 should have trounced winner Mickey Rytman's $3,523.95. And Joe Blocker's $624.23 should have been no match to Benjamin Iannucci III's $2,041.28.

But when Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux announced the final results Tuesday evening, Rytman, who sat stunned by the announcement, had defeated Baugh with 762 votes to 536. Iannucci fell to Blocker 494 to 424.

"Anything's possible when you deal with voting," Iannucci said.

Incumbent City Clerk Betsy Roy — out-funded $3,994.48 to $3,384.55 by her opponent — faced a tough battle against real estate agent Wanda Davis. Roy trailed Davis 446 to 414 when the results of early voting and absentee votes were coupled with results from four out of the city's seven precincts. Roy won, 581 to 557.

Baugh and Iannucci are relative newcomers to Crestview, while Blocker, Davis and Rytman are Crestview natives. Roy has lived in Crestview since 1995.

Also elected was Crestview native Shannon Hayes, who defeated transplant Bill Cox to assume the Precinct 2 seat being vacated by retiring Councilman Tim Grandberry. Hayes, who raised $2,570 to Cox's $1,120, is the son of the late council member Sam Hayes.

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