On a night that saw Republicans sweep Sarasota County races, county commissioners Joe Barbetta and Nora Patterson had no problem retaining their seats.
Barbetta easily defeated his challenger, independent Cathy Antunes 64% to 36%.
“It’s been fun to do this job,” Barbetta told supporters after claiming victory. “I look forward to another four years.”
Patterson defeated Democratic challenger Mark Hawkins 66.5% to 33.5%.
“Our job the next four years, working together as a community, will be to right our economy,” Patterson said. “We are a high quality-of-life community, and we will come out of this recession even stronger.”
The biggest surprise of the evening was the defeat of incumbent state house Rep. Keith Fitzgerald.
Republican challenger Ray Pilon received 52% of the vote to Fitzgerald’s 48%.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan was an easy victory over Democratic challenger James Golden, 61% to 39%.
Other Republican victors included Charter Review Board candidates Steven Fields and David del Purgatorio and hospital board candidate Darryl Henry.
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