Attorney Juan Lynum and nurse Regina Hill finished just 37 votes apart in an Orlando City Council election Tuesday and are headed for a runoff over a seat held for the past 16 years by Lynum’s mother, Daisy.
With three candidates in the race, no one earned more than 50 percent of the vote, the threshold needed to win the election outright. Lynum earned 39.2 percent of the vote to Hill’s 37.3 percent. The third candidate, Cynthia Harris, brought in 23.5 percent.
Voters in City Council District 5 will go to the polls again on May 6 to choose between Lynum and Hill.
Hill, a political newcomer, was thrilled with the results. Her past includes 21 arrests, but while campaigning she told voters those were youthful mistakes that helped her relate to the district’s problems.
“I see it as fantastic news. People see me as a viable candidate, and I’m going to get a lot more support,” Hill said. “I’m the change that they’re looking for.”
Reacting to the results, Lynum came out swinging: “We are surprised a candidate with 21 arrests can garner so much support. Regina’s wild behavior is not becoming of a community leader. The community needs to understand the consequences of having someone like Regina in office.”
In other races:
•Republican Eric Eisnaugle won a special election to represent state House District 44, which includes parts of West Orange County including Winter Garden, Oakland and Lake Buena Vista. Eisnaugle took 74 percent of the vote, besting Democrat Shaun Raja, who earned 26 percent.
Eisnaugle will serve out the remainder of Steve Precourt’s term, which runs through 2014. Precourt resigned to seek a job at the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.
•In Longwood, small business owner Mark Weller won a special election for the City Commission seat formerly held by H.G. “Butch” Bundy, who was suspended following a DUI arrest. Weller won nearly 55 percent of the vote, edging out candidates Frank Scheraldi and Dean Reed.