“The comments I’ve been getting from the citizens of Destin is they’ve taken their town back and they plan on keeping it. That’s why this election turned out the way it did.”
DESTIN — Skip Overdier was the top vote-getter in Tuesday’s city election and will join incumbents Rodney Braden and Prebble Ramswell on the City Council.
Overdier topped all of the five candidates for the three open council seats with 1,780 votes, or 21.58 percent of the vote. Braden received the second-highest total with 1,729 votes, or 20.96 percent, followed by Ramswell with 1,650 votes, or 20 percent.
Those are the unofficial results from the at-large election, which also featured candidates Teresa Hebert and Mark Robertson, who received 19.09 percent and 18.37 percent of the vote, respectively.
The council consists of seven councilors and a mayor, each of whom are elected to serve a four-year, unpaid term. Braden and Ramswell will be serving in their second terms. Councilman Jim Foreman was unable to seek re-election because of term limits.
“I guess I got the most votes of anybody,” Overdier said with a laugh Tuesday night. “That does surprise me. I’m happy it turned out that way. I wish there were five seats available, because I think all of the candidates are good people.”
He said he looks forward to helping the city finish its comprehensive plan, review recommendations on short-term rental properties and complete a new contract with Gulf Power.
Overdier, who is an Air Force veteran and a former real estate broker, said he wasn’t “slinging rocks at anyone” and stayed out of negative campaigning during this election season.
“There was a big division this time,” he said. “But we’re all in the same zip code and we all need to work together. I hope that whatever happened during the election, we can move on.”
Ramswell said she is “relieved that this horrible election is over. It’s been an unnecessarily hurtful campaign. But the citizens of Destin came out and voted in great numbers.”
She said she and her fellow council members’ first task must be to work on unifying the community.
“This election showed how divisive it has become,” Ramswell said.
Back on the council, Ramswell said she will continue to weigh each issue independently and on its own merits.
Braden said he is glad he will be able to serve another four years on the council.
“I’m glad to serve the citizens of Destin and will try to move forward from here,” he said. “I hope to get the Gulf Power contract resolved. The biggest thing is getting that finalized and behind us and to move forward. We also need to try to start working on our parking problems.”
Braden added, “The comments I’ve been getting from the citizens of Destin is they’ve taken their town back and they plan on keeping it. That’s why this election turned out the way it did.”
The winning candidates will be sworn in at Monday’s council meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. A council reception is set for 5 p.m. Monday.