Polk voters have returned Judge Susan Barber to the county bench, re-elected Lori Cunningham to the School Board and placed political newcomer Bill Braswell on the County Commission.

School Board runoffs Nov. 8 will pit Billy Townsend against incumbent Hunt Berryman for one seat and Sara Beth Reynolds against Becky Troutman for an open seat. 

Judge Barber collected 54 percent of the votes, beating back a challenge from former prosecutor Carson Bassett.

In the closely watched School Board District 1 race, Townsend bested incumbent Berryman 43 percent to 33 percent. A runoff will be held since no candidate received a majority. Ed Shoemaker polled` 25 percent.

Troutman received 38 percent of the vote to Reynolds’ 25 percent, setting up another runoff. In that race, County Commissioner Ed Smith recieved 25 percent of the vote, and home-school advocate Rebekah Ricks 12 percent.

Braswell defeated J.C. Martin 66 to 34 percent for the District 3 seat on the County Commission.

Turnout was just under 19 percent, a bit shy of the 20 percent predicted by Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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