Walker dominates in Chiefland election

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Betty's back!

Former Chiefland Mayor Betty Walker won Tuesday night's election for the Group 5 seat on the Chiefland City Commission with more than half the votes.

Walker had a total of 127 votes, easily beating challengers Kathy Green Hudson, with 64 votes, and Martin Reid, with 27 votes.

Walker, brimming with emotion, said "I just thank all my supporters and the people who had faith in me."

She will be filling the shoes of long-time Commissioner Sammy Cason, who is stepping down due to health-related issues.

Hudson said she was disappointed that she lost, but was happy to have reforged connections in the community.

"I have no regrets. I learned a lot. I reconnected with people I haven't seen in 40 years. There are lots of good people (in Chiefland)."

She added she was unhappy with low voter turnout. 

Only 218 out of about 1,200 registered voters came out Tuesday or handed in absentee ballots.

Martin Reid declined to comment on his loss to Walker.

Votes for the Group 1 seat were not counted, due to the death of incumbent candidate Frank Buie Monday night. Candidate Chris Jones, who is a relative of Buie, said Tuesday he's "emotionally tied up in it," though he's confident he'll stay in the race, which will be decided in a special election Oct. 7.

Jones said he was saddened by the loss of Buie, his uncle, but also frustrated that his own votes weren't counted Tuesday evening.

"It's like if you had to fight a title fight, and then, in the first round, you hear, 'You're disqualified.'"