Barack Obama Makes History With Decisive Win
State and Local races mixed
by Bill Lopez
CLEARWATER - From relative obscurity, Barack Obama has emerged to win the presidency of the United States in an unprecedented election like no other presidential election in American history.
An African American junior senator from Illinois with virtually no national recognition just under two years ago demonstrated great skill and leadership in achieving a feat that few could imagine possible just months ago.
In a model of election campaigning based on the techniques and style of Chicago ward politics, Obama methodically divided the county into manageable lots and worked to staff each with an effective organization that brought record voter registrations and massive turnouts across the nation.
His team overcame Democrat front-runner Hilary Clinton to secure the nomination and went on to inspired many who contributed over $600 million to finance an avalanche of ads and presidential campaign essentials that was no match for the Republican candidate.
His opponent, the revered John McCain, faced a tsunami of great portions in defending an unpopular war, having ties to the perceived failures of the Bush administration and being a member of a political party whose administration presided over the most monumental collapse of the US economy since the great depression.
Osama's eloquent and steadfast drumbeat for change dominated the McCain-Palin promise of reform and fresh leadership. In a conciliatory but positive concession speech from the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona, McCain saluted Obama and praised his victory as positive milestone in American history and pledged to work with the new president to restore American greatness in world leadership and repair its domestic affairs.
The race nationally yielded a six-point margin for Obama in the popular vote with 62 million cast for Obama and 55 million cast for McCain. In the Electoral College vote, however, the results were staggeringly in favor of Obama. He received 349 electoral votes to 147 for McCain, the most telling testimony to the superior organizational skills of the Obama campaign.
In Florida McCain got 48% of the vote to Obama's 51% and locally in Pinellas County where over 645,000 were registered to vote, Obama received 53% of the vote to McCain's 45%. That produced 247,728 votes for Obama and 209,682 for McCain.
In other races, for US Congress District 9, Republican Gus Michael Bilirakis defeated Democrat Bill Mitchell by a wide margin of 62% to 36%.
In District 10 Republican Bill Young beat Democrat Bob Hackworth 61% to 39%.
In District 11 Eddie Adams (Rep) lost to Kathy Castor (Dem) 12% to 87%.
For State Senator in District 11, Republican Mike Fasano won over Democrat Fred Taylor 64% to 36%.
For State Representative in District 48 Peter Nehr (Rep) edged out Carl Zimmermann (Dem) by a narrow margin of 51% to 49%.
For Sheriff of Pinellas County, incumbent Republican Jim Coats easily won over Democrat Randal Jones 61% to 38%.
For Property Appraiser, Republican Pam Dubox beat Democrat Ben Friedlander 56% to 43%.
Deborah Clark (Rep) will continue as Supervisor of Elections defeating Jack Killingsworth (Dem) 61% to 38%.
For County Commissioner, winners include Neil Brickfield (Rep), Nancy Bostock (Rep) and Karen Seel (Rep).
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