Longtime commissioner Rusty Johnson won a close contest against Jim Sills and will be at the helm until the next municipal election March 15, 2016.
OCOEE Ocoee voters have elected Rusty Johnson as the city's new mayor — or, at least until March 15, when the regular election takes place.
A special election was held Oct. 27, when voters had to select one of three men to temporarily serve in the position vacated by S. Scott Vandergrift in July. The three candidates were Rusty Johnson, a longtime commissioner; Ronney Oliveira; and Jim Sills. A runoff between Johnson and Sills was declared after none of the three garnered at least 50% of the votes.
According to unofficial results on the Orange County Supervisor of Elections website, Johnson received 1,270 votes (50.34%), and Sills took 1,253 votes (49.66%) in the Nov. 24 runoff election.
Johnson received four early votes and 602 absentee votes. Sills got three early votes and 554 absentee.
“It was 17 votes, but I won,” Johnson said Tuesday night. “I'm just happy. It's been a lot of work the last few months. My family and my friends have worked hard to get me here, and we'll work on running the city for the next four months. And then after four months, I'll run again.”
What's ahead for Johnson?
“The city commissioners are ready to move this city forward in the right direction, and that's what we're going to do,” he said. "This is the town I love.”
District 1 Commissioner John Grogan has been serving as mayor since S. Scott Vandergrift stepped down. He will now return to his commission seat. Johnson will take his new seat at the next meeting, Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].