Robin Gibson Wins Re-election, Keith Thompson Wins Seat 3 Race for City Commission
Election May Shape Critical Decisions as City Faces Enormous Growth
Last updated 4/12/2023 at 8:22am
Incumbent Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson easily turned back a challenge from Danielle Pride Gibson for his District 5 seat on the Lake Wales City Commission Tuesday. Michelle Threatt was defeated by Keith Thompson in a relatively close contest for the District 3 seat, which is being vacated by long-time Commissioner Terrye Howell.
Thompson garnered 904 votes, or 53.27% of the tally, while Michelle Threatt collected 793, or 47.73% of the 1,698 ballots cast in the District 3 race.
Danielle Pride Gibson received 595 votes, or 35.35%, while incumbent Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson earned 64.65% of the ballots cast in that race, or 1,088 votes. There were 1,683 total votes in the District 5 race. The victories earn the winners new three-year terms on the five-person city commission. While candidates must reside in the district they represent, they are elected in a city-wide vote.
"I'm very proud of a list of supporters..." Gibson said shortly after the final tally was known. "I am so proud of it I just put it out there so everybody could see. It includes people in town and outside of town of all persuasions, and now, in view of the results of the race, its not a win for one faction, its a win for everybody, because they were all represented in the support for this race. I'm proud of that."
Gibson has been the driving force behind the Lake Wales Connected program, funded by the Community Redevelopment Agency which he chairs. Gibson helped to create the original CRA district decades ago, and the growing pool of tax-increment monies it captures provides will pay for current and future improvements within the district boundaries. He told LakeWalesNews.net in a prior interview that seeing the process through, and the just-begun Lake Wales Envisioned process, were his motivation for seeking another term.
The race was Thompson's first run for public office. He will take on the duties of a commissioner on April 2, replacing Howell. As a result of the election there will be no women on the City Commission for the first time in some 25 or more years. .
Turnout in the races amounted to about 17% of the 9,576 registered voters within the city limits. Turnout is typically light for the stand-alone municipal races, making every vote cast more valuable.
The LakeWalesNews.net editorial board declined to endorse candidates in the election this year.