Sara Roberts McCarley was elected to a nearly-three-year-term on the Lakeland City Commission, capturing 74.2 percent of the vote in today’s three-candidate special election.

She will represent southwest Lakeland on the seven-member board, serving out the term that was vacated when former Commissioner Michael Dunn resigned in October.

With all precincts and early voting ballots counted, opponents Bill Watts got 14.3 percent of the vote, and Patrick Shawn Jones received 11.5 percent.

Turnout in the one-issue election was sparse, with 7,899, or  12.01  percent, of registered voters casting votes.

McCarley was the only candidate to mount a significant fund-raising effort, reporting nearly $43,000 as of Friday, compared with $675 for Jones and $520 for Watts.

McCarley will assume her seat on the commission at next Tuesday’s meeting. Don Selvage, who held the southwest district seat previously, was appointed by the commission to fill in after Dunn’s resignation.

Commissioners are paid just under $30,000 a year.

ALSO: Ledger coverage


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Barry Friedman founded 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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