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In a crowded race for County Commission District 5, businessman Scott Adams led the pack of four Republicans.
Adams drew 9,853 votes — 40.19 percent — to take the seat that will be left vacant by Commissioner Winn Webb, who will be the Republican candidate for sheriff.
Having lost two previous races, Adams said winning felt good.
“I feel glad. I feel honored,” Adams said. “I’m excited about the new opportunity and what we can do for Citrus County and I just feel totally honored to be elected a county commissioner.”
Adams said voters turned out for him, “because we’re going to do the right thing. We’re going to represent the people of Citrus County.”
Adams said he expected to win, “because the people were so supportive the whole time. It was amazing. It was a growing experience that I’ve never had before, but it is an honor to have people supporting you from all over, from all walks of life. I felt pretty good about the whole race because everybody just stayed supportive. Even when the Chronicle went negative on me, I got more support from it.”
Coming in second was Charles Poliseno with 6,724 votes or 27.43 percent. Poliseno said he gave it his best shot.
“We stuck to our game plan to run a clean, positive race,” Poliseno said. “We knew we wanted to run on the issues.”
Asked if he thought third-party mail pieces and automated phone calls against him may have swayed some voters, Poliseno said: “I don’t know if the negative campaigning had an impact or not.”
Theodora “Teddi” Rusnak had 4,487 votes cast for her, coming in third with 18.30 percent in her first race.
“Although I’m disappointed with the results, I’m not disappointed with my performance and I’m even more amazed at all the support I got,” Rusnak said. “I had a wonderful team that was behind me and supported me every minute of the run. I want to thank all of the voters who voted for me as well as my very special group of supporters, my team. I think it’s going to be a very interesting four years ahead of us.”
The fourth candidate, Mike Smallridge, polled 3,449 votes or 14.07 percent.
Smallridge had a good attitude about the outcome.
“Congratulations to Scott,” Smallridge said. “I can only control what I did and we worked as hard as we could. The people have spoken, so Scott’s got to get to work.”
Chronicle reporter Chris Van Ormer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-564-2916. Chronicle reporter Mike Wright contributed to this report.