AVON PARK - Mayor Sharon Schuler and City Councilman Parke Sutherland handily won re-election Tuesday as most voters chose to stay the course over making any changes on the city council.
Schuler, with 520 votes (61.8 percent), defeated Greg "Bubba" Warner, who garnered 322 votes (38.2 percent).
Sutherland defeated Jonathan Remick by a vote count of 529-311 (63.0 percent to 37.0 percent).
Schuler was reelected to her third term as mayor and Sutherland was reelected to his second term on the city council. The mayor and council members serve three-year terms.
Schuler said Wednesday that she and Sutherland ran on the facts of the accomplishments of the city for the past three years and they want to continue with business as usual.
"I really appreciate the citizens out there. I think they supported Parke and I," she said. "I think they are happy with what the city has accomplished."
She and the city council will continue to work toward cutting costs for the city's citizens and keep moving forward, Schuler said. "We can't go backwards."
Sutherland said Wednesday: "The City of Avon Park won two elections last night. I didn't particularly win nor did Sharon. We ran on our record of improvements to the city and the citizens spoke and they want that continued direction of improvement."
The councilman chuckled that he was tired after spending 3 1/2 hours Tuesday night picking up his and Schuler's campaign signs.
The results were known soon after the polls closed at 7 p.m., with the Supervisor of Elections Office releasing the early and absentee votes to the media at 7:13 p.m. and then the total vote, including the four city precincts, at 7:24 p.m.
Deputy Mayor Brenda Giles served on the election canvassing board.
"Yes, we won; we won all away around," she said, while phoning the results to city Administrative Services Director Maria Sutherland, who is Parke Sutherland's wife.
"I hope that we can all get back together for the betterment of the city," Giles told Highlands Today.
A total of 844 ballots were cast for a voter turnout of 19 percent, including 152 early voting and 92 absentee ballots.
Voters also approved the city's amended city charter by a vote of 526-272.