Two council members to be sworn in Tuesday, others react to election results

An incumbent and a political newcomer will be sworn in to the Marathon City Council at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the wake of the Nov. 3 election.

Michelle Coldiron, owner of a medical supply business, and incumbent Mark Senmartin, who owns a gun shop and pawn shop, received the most votes in the five-candidate race. They will serve three-year terms.

The two seats opened up after Senmartin's first term, then two years, expired and Councilman Rich Keating was term-limited out.

Senmartin received the most votes, 888 (26.40 percent). Coldiron came in second with 781 votes, or 23.33 percent.

Former councilman Dick Ramsay had 712 votes (21.17 percent.) Realtor Trish Hintze had 546 votes (16.24 percent) and gym owner Nicholas Antonelli had 436 votes, or 12.96 percent.

There were 3,363 ballots cast out of 5,741 registered voters in Marathon for a 33 percent turnout. There were 433 undervotes (one candidate selected instead of two) and seven overvotes (more than two candidates selected).

"I am humbled and honored to serve our fine city," Coldiron said. "I enjoyed meeting people as I went door to door." The Global Health Connections Inc. owner said she looks forward to working on infrastructure and quality-of-life issues.

Senmartin is looking forward to new City Manager Charles Lindsey starting work Jan. 4 and the completion of the new city hall.

"Having a fresh council with a fresh new set of eyes will be good for the town," he said.

Ramsay, who served three consecutive two-year terms from 2008 to 2014, said he is surprised by the results.

"I thought I would do better frankly. I worked as hard as I could and I came in a respectable third," Ramsay said.

Ramsay said he's going to continue trying to bring commercial airlines to Florida Keys Marathon International Airport and wants to work on establishing a ferry terminal for travel from Marathon to Cuba.

Hintze was disappointed in her second go for the council. She has applied to fill former Mayor Chris Bull's seat; Bull resigned and there is a year left on his term.

"I really do want to serve. I'm not a sore loser and won't say oh well," Hintze said. "I feel like it's another opportunity to serve."

Antonelli was not pleased with the results.

"It seemed more like it was more about how many signs people had," he said. "It left a really bad taste in my mouth. The [city] government seems more like high school than about serious issues."

Ramsay, Hintze and Antonelli said they wish Coldiron and Senmartin well. They also said they are open to the possibility of running in another City Council race.

Voters also widely rejected a referendum, 1,086 votes (58.45 percent) to 772 (41.55 percent) asking: "Should the city of Marathon prohibit open burning, outdoor burning and refuse burning on residential lots in the city of Marathon by ordinance, subject to certain exemptions listed in such ordinance or expressly authorized by Florida law and with enforcement by any method authorized by law?"