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Sawyer keeps elections job

The man who has headed the supervisor of election’s office for 20 years has won another term.

Harry Sawyer, a Republican, got 65 percent of the vote, with early votes not yet counted in two precincts. Sawyer had 24,416 votes to Woods’ 13,374.

“I’m very proud of the campaign I ran,” said Woods, speaking by phone from his home in Key West. “Our democracy’s better when people have choices.”

“Basically, what it just boils down to is an overwhelming support for what we’ve been doing,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer was first elected in 1988 and has run unopposed for the last 16 years. He boasts of his office’s efficiency and of the accuracy of the voter roll. Monroe County was one of the first in the state to have optical scan machines, and was one of the first anywhere to upload votes by modem to a central computer.

But Woods, an adjunct professor of political science at Florida Keys Community College, said Sawyer should be doing more.

Woods, who ran six campaigns here in the Keys — five for former Key West Mayor Jimmy Weekley, and one for County Commissioner Wilhelmina Harvey — proposed that the supervisor of elections be the “chief civic educator” in the county, and hold classes instructing candidates how to wage a campaign.

Woods says he spent a lot of time in the Upper Keys, and wants to wait to analyze the totals from individual precincts before second guessing that strategy.

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