Home / Government / Zodrow, Hooper Win Safety Harbor City Commission Seats

Zodrow, Hooper Win Safety Harbor City Commission Seats

Victorious Safety Harbor City Commission candidates Janet Hooper and Andy Zodrow after the election.
Victorious Safety Harbor City Commission candidates Janet Hooper and Andy Zodrow after the election.

After a slow start to election day, Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper won the two open Safety Harbor City Commission seats in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, as both candidates pulled out close victories by the time the final poll results came in.

Zodrow, the Seat 3 incumbent, held off former Safety Harbor mayor and city commissioner Joe Ayoub to earn reelection by less than 100 votes despite trailing by more 125 votes after four of the seven precincts had reported.

Hooper, the director of the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center, also erased an early deficit, ultimately winning the race against Planning and Zoning Board chair Chris Logan for Seat #1 by nearly 200 votes.

Here’s a look at the unofficial vote totals, as reported on the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website:

Safety Harbor City Commission Seat #3:

  • Joe Ayoub – 1,867 (48.85%)
  • Andy Zodrow – 1,955 (51.15%)

Safety Harbor City Commission Seat #1:

  • Janet Hooper – 1,998 (52.58%)
  • Chris Logan – 1,802 (47.42)

After the final results came in at around 7:20 p.m., the winning candidates, who had gathered with their supporters at Tapping the Vine restaurant, expressed their thoughts over what had been a long and sometimes arduous campaign.

Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper (front left) stand with their supprters outside the Safety Harbor Public Library on Election Day 2015.
Andy Zodrow and Janet Hooper (front left) stand with their supporters outside the Safety Harbor Library on Election Day 2015.

“It was a long haul, quite a fight,” Hooper, who as the head of the nonprofit was a target for critics armed with conflict of interest claims, told Safety Harbor Connect.

“But the reality is, I’m grateful the residents chose me to serve them and I intend to serve every one of them to the best of my abilities for the next three years.”

Zodrow, who had held Seat #3 for a year after winning the special election last March, said he was happy to get reelected and that the contentious race was finally over.

“I feel great, happy to have the race over with,” he said.

“It was a grueling, long campaign, and now I’m looking forward to serving the citizens of Safety Harbor for another three years.”

A few blocks away at the Harborita Cantina, Ayoub and Logan made their concession speeches to their crowd of supporters.

“We fought a great fight,” Ayoub said. “I lost by a 85 votes and Chris lost by a little more than 100 votes.”

“I want to say congratulations to the winners. I hope they do a great job for the City of Safety Harbor.”

“This campaign took a lot of work – I mean a lot of work – and I’m glad it’s over,” Logan said. “Good luck to the winners.”

Zodrow and Hooper will be sworn in to their respective seats during the City Commission meeting on April 6, 2015.

In addition to the two commission seats, there were six amendments to the city’s charter on the ballot. Five of the six amendments passed, each by garnering more than 60% of the votes cast. The results are as follows:

  1. Amended Charter – YES (61%)
  2. Repeal of Prohibition on Simultaneous Annexation and Zoning of Single Property – NO (51%)
  3. Acknowledgement of Applicability of State Code of Ethics to the City – YES (90%)
  4. Commencement of Term of Newly Elected Commissioners and Term of Office of Vice Mayor – YES (92%)
  5. Initiative and Referendum – YES (69%)
  6. City Manager Residency Requirement – YES (77%)

Stay with Safety Harbor Connect for further coverage of the 2015 municipal election, including a breakdown of the amendments, in the coming days.

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  1. Now that you can save the trees, will you able to save the rest of us from second hand smoke in the entire area of Main St., Safety Harbor.. . It is disgusting having to walk through that with my son. If you are sooo concerned with the environmental issues of saving the trees than you should be just as concerned about how this effects us. I hope we can see a ban on smoking outside any public establishments.

  2. Jeff,

    I’m glad the election is finally over. Not necessarily because who won, but because it brought out an ugly side of our community. Both candidates and their vociferous supporters acted inappropriately throughout the campaign. It was amusing to see Ms. Hooper attack Mr. Ayoub in the candidate forum, even though she was not running against him. I won’t miss getting three page diatribes from Mr. Ayoub’s ignorant supporters either. For a while I thought the candidates were on the same ticket running for President and VP instead of two separate seats.

    Truly the best decisions are made when a variety of voices are heard. The community would probably be better served if each camp had one member elected. The only way to guarantee that would have been for Mr. Ayoub and Mr. Logan to run against each other for the same seat with Mr. Zodrow and Ms. Hooper doing the same. That way, each group would have representation. None of the candidates are as bad as their opponents made them out to be. All of them are willing to serve and deserve our thanks despite their behavior.

    I won’t miss the traffic jam at the four way stop either- at least until the next election.

    The Bandit

    • There will always be a traffic jam at the four way stop. AND when the 7 story condos get built, that will allow Jim Barges’ piece of property to get built up higher, AND that will lead us to more traffic on that road. We might even see Safety Harbor get a traffic light put back there.

    • Bandit
      I agree with you. Then they would have to learn to work with each other. We learn that in first grade!

  3. The grassroots and the Safety Harbor voters have spoken….The famous quote by Margaret Mead comes to mind.
    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” For those that think this is a small group of “crazies” you are wrong!
    The facts speak for themselves: Go to votepinellas.com
    FACT: Janet HOOPER won 4 precincts to Logan’s 2. They were tied in 1 precinct (608) with 1 vote apiece.
    FACT: Andy ZODROW won 4 precincts to Ayoub’s 3. The incumbent, an active boater & outdoorsman, captured ALL precincts along the water.
    A huge thank you to all that worked so hard. All the best to Andy and Janet as they work for all of Safety Harbor.

    • Why do we have to develop every little piece of property. Can’t we just be grateful to have a place that is wide open with trees and a great view of the water.

  4. Judy, not sure where you’re getting your info, Supervisor of Elections is reporting Zodrow and Hooper as winning the majority of precincts. The fact that Ayoub and Logan lost their own precincts by the largest margin speaks volumes.

  5. That’s the truth Michael. It’s kind of sad that the mayor and two commissioners are now puppets to these two ladies. Last year it was the mayor and Zodrow who were controlled by them and now we can add Hooper. Just remember, Joe Ayoub won ALL precincts except for downtown so be careful. Residents outside of the downtown area are seeing you “crazies” for what you really are. Good luck Safety Harbor, you will need it!

  6. Congratulations to Patty Kent and Terry Dahl whom now control 60% of the commission seats, let’s do this ladies!!

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