John Meserve, Martha Barrett Win Local Races
Despite an ongoing investigation by the State Attorney's Office, Republican John Meserve easily defeated Democrat Dave Smith to win a seat on the Jacksonville City Council. Smith had faced some legal issues of his own earlier this year, being arrested on a marijuana possession charge and pleading no contest.
Meserve won 68% to Smith's 32%.
The seat was opened by the resignation of Art Graham, who was one of the candidates in the State Senate special election.
Former School Board member Martha Barrett won the seat being vacated by another Senate candidate, Stan Jordan, without the need for a run-off. Barrett picked up 56% of the total, getting a lot of help from absentee voters. Veteran teacher James Moser finished second with 28%, ahead of Clayton Vandiver who captured 16% and third place. Barrett outspent second-place finisher James Moser by more than 15-1 in order to secure her victory.
The School Board race would have gone to a run-off had Barrett failed to secure over 50% of the vote.