If Apopka elections have proven anything over the past month it's that they are unpredictable. In a surprising combination of outcomes, first-time candidates Doug Bankson and Kyle Becker defeated incumbent Commissioners Bill Arrowsmith and Sam Ruth in the runoff elections held today to decide Seats #3 and #4 of the Apopka City Commission.
Becker overcame nearly a 900-vote defeat on March 15th to defeat Arrowsmith with 2,689 of the votes (55%), while Arrowsmith could only attract 2,206 voters to the polls to vote for him - less than half of the votes he received in the General Election.
Becker was understandably shaken but excited by the results.
"What a day," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. I'm overjoyed, happy, blessed and I thank the voters of Apopka."
Pastor Doug Bankson built on his March momentum to snatch Seat #3 from incumbent Commissioner Sam Ruth. Bankson received 2,707 (56%) votes, while Ruth fell short with only 2,170 (44%).
Bankson was also excited, but feeling the effects of a long day and the roller coaster ride of the campaign.
"I'm exhilarated and exhausted," he said. "We left it all on the field. It was an absolute team effort. I want to thank the volunteers, and the whole team."
Despite the loss, Ruth was ever-upbeat and looking to the future.
"I coached for 26 years," he said. But I didn't win every game for 26 years. You learn from your losses. These last three months were humbling. But you hear the questions asked to you by the voters and you realize you have to stop thinking as "I". We that are elected are here for the good of the people…for the good of Apopka."
Mayor Joe Kilsheimer had praise for the two new commissioners-elect and thanks for the two sitting Commissioners.
"The voters have spoken. Congratulations to Pastor Doug Bankson and Kyle Becker. I look forward to working with both of them to move Apopka's agenda forward. I offer my thanks to Commissioners Arrowsmith and Ruth for their public service. Standing for election requires courage and commitment to our community. Both men have shown just how much they care about Apopka."
The unofficial results are available on the Supervisor of Election's website.
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