With seven out of seven precincts reporting and 8,256 votes cast, Richard Blake has won the race for Safety Harbor City Commission Seat 1.
Blake took 4,622 votes, or 55.98 percent, Tuesday, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website. The unofficial results must be verified by the state.
"I'm relieved, and happy, and excited," Blake told Safety Harbor Patch after the results were announced. "I'm excited to get to work for the city."
Blake had been in a heated battle with fellow candidates Ray R. Irvin and Robert "Bobby" Saltzman for the past few months to take the seat being vacated by Joe Ayoub, who is assuming the position of mayor in January.
According to the Supervisor of Elections results posted online, Irvin recieved 2,128 votes (25.78%) while Saltzman had 1,506 votes (18.24%).
"I'm happy for them," Irvin said of the Blake campaign. "I'd have been happier for me if I won, but it's OK."
"Congratulations to Mr. Blake," Saltzman said from his unofficial headquarters at Cafe Orlando. "I'm surprised the margin was that big ... but I did everything I could do."