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Keys Blog

Cates Wins Fourth Term As Key West Mayor

Nancy Klingener

Key West Mayor Craig Cates won a fourth and final term as mayor of the southernmost city Tuesday, defeating Margaret Romero for a third time and taking 53 percent of the votes in the three-person race. Romero won 44 percent while perennial candidate Sloan Bashinsky took just over 2 percent.

"I'm just a happy camper right now," Cates said. "Everybody that came out and supported me, four elections in a row -- it's an overwhelming feeling."

Complete results for Monroe County, including a precinct breakdown, can be found on the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections website.

Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Tegan Slaton lost his seat on the bench. Challengers Bonnie Helms and Jack Bridges will face each other in November to determine who will replace him. Helms led the three-person race with 46 percent but it wasn't enough to win outright. Bridges took second with 31 percent. Slaton, who had served one term as a Circuit Judge, won 23 percent.

Circuit Judge Mark Jones, the longest-serving circuit judge in the Keys, won easily with 64 percent of the vote over Donald Barrett.

"I'm overjoyed," said Jones, who faced opposition for the first time since he was elected to the bench in 1996. "I'm almost speechless, which is unusual for me."

Key West attorney Bobby Highsmith took enough votes in a three-person race for an open spot on the Monroe County School Board to take the seat outright. Incumbents John Dick and Ron Martin were re-elected to the five-member board.

Long-time Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent defeated a Republican primary opponent, Danny Coll. Neugent will face Democrat Eleanor McAdams in November.