It was a good year to be an incumbent candidate for the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board, as longtime commissioners Joan Lord-Papy and Bill Shaw won their respective elections Tuesday.
According to the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections, each candidate won by nearly a 2-1 margin, with both Lord-Papy and Shaw garnering 66 percent of the vote. Big Pine Key early voting numbers were not available at press time.
The Democrat Lord-Papy won the District 1 seat for a fifth straight time by earning 23,945 votes to Republican Andy Williams' 12,368.
Lord-Papy said she's happy to be serving Monroe County residents again and hopes to continue the good work she feels the board does. Lord-Papy addressed criticisms with the district's budget and reserves Tuesday night, which were front and center during the election.
"Everybody complained about the budget and cutting back, but the constituents were worried if we cut back too far the service would decline," she said. "We have to keep a good reserve because we had a lot of rain ... and we have to have the money to protect the people of Monroe County."
The Republican Williams learned of his defeat behind bars at the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island, where he's being held without bond after reportedly failing a court-ordered drug test on Oct. 16. The tests are required under drug-offender probation he's serving on a felony cocaine possession charge.
Williams has been arrested nine times in the last year on various charges and has twice been arrested since winning the Republican primary Aug. 26 over Pat Unferth.
The Republican Shaw won re-election to the District 4 seat by defeating political newcomer Daniel Zieg, who ran non-affiliated, in a race filled with issues over the district's budget and "mosquito mansion" in Marathon. He earned his fourth consecutive term Tuesday, receiving 22,390 votes to Zieg's 11,726.
Shaw emphasized during his campaign that the board has reduced property taxes 45 percent in the past five years and that it trimmed $2 million from this year's initial proposed budget. He could not be reached for comment.