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Palm Coast Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 2 years ago

Howell, Branquinho win City Council races, Republicans win races for County Commission seats

In the School Board District 2 race, Janet McDonald beats John Fischer.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

BY: Jonathan Simmons and Paige Wilson

Retired Marine colonel Jack Howell, and retired New Jersey police detective Eddie Branquinho, won their Palm Coast City Council races, while Republicans Greg Hansen and Joe Mullins beat no-party-affiliation candidates in the county’s two County Commission races Nov. 6.

Joe Mullins and Greg Hansen celebrate after the posting of election results. (Photo by Paige Wilson)

In the city of Palm Coast races, District 2 candidate Howell, who  founded and runs the Teens-in-Flight program that gives flight training to the children of U.S. service people parents killed or wounded in action, beat Jon Netts, who previously served as a Palm Coast city councilman and as the city’s mayor before he was term-limited out, by 55.89% to 44.11%. The city of Palm Coast City Council races are officially nonpartisan.

“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for me to show the people that instead of just issuing words, or uttering words, that I’m going to put those words into action. And that’s what I do,” Howell said. “I want to get a forensic audit of our books. I want to see where we are financially, straight across the board — how bad we are in debt or how all of these crazy expenditures took place, whether they were justifiable. I’m all about accountability. That’s the cop in me. ... I’m not a politician; I’m a colonel of Marines, and I’ll never change. I can’t be bought. I collected no money from any individual in my campaign. I did it the right way.”

On Facebook, Netts wrote the following: “Well, the voters have spoken. Congrats to Mr. Howell. Let me share a few words of wisdom that my first mayor shared with me. It’s not who speaks the loudest, or who speaks the longest... It’s he (or she) who is the most convincing. Best of luck in your new position.”

In City Council District 4, Branquinho beat businessman John Tipton 56.87% to 43.13%.

“What makes this victory even more important is the formidable opponent that I had, which was John Tipton,” Branquinho said. “He’s a person that turned out to be very, very, very much of a gentleman, decent person. And that made my victory a lot harder, but feels good inside — good for that fact that, once again, he was a great, great opponent, and that makes me feel like I did part of my job. ... I just called Jack Howell and congratulated him. I think Jack Howell and me will make a great addition to the City Council, strictly and only based on our past and our experiences. I want to thank everybody in the public who trusted me. I’m hoping I will not disappoint the city, and I hope that the city keeps on going up, and that the residents of the city will not regret voting for me.”

Incumbent District 2 County Commissioner Greg Hansen beat no-party-affiliation challenger Dennis McDonald 64.05% to 35.95% in the District 2 County Commission race, and County Commission District 4 candidate Joe Mullins beat no-party-affiliation candidate Jane Gentile-Youd 61.63% to 38.37%. Mullins had beaten incumbent District 4 commissioner Nate McLaughlin in the Republican primary.

“Thank you all. This has been a great day,” Hansen said. “I’m excited. I love this job, and I want to do great things for Flagler County. ... We love this place, and we’re going to keep it going.”

Mullins said, “This is for Flagler County; this is for us. We’re going to get focused on Flagler. Our future — this is looking great.”

In the nonpartisan School Board District 2 race, incumbent Janet McDonald beat John Fischer 50.35% to 49.65%. Both are Republicans. Fischer had held the District 2 seat before McDonald won it in 2014.

Palm Coast voters voted in favor of all three proposed city of Palm Coast charter amendments. Flagler County voters overwhelmingly voted “Yes” on all proposed state constitutional amendments.

For additional results, see the Flagler County Supervisor of Elections website at

For statewide results, visit

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