Jennifer Ahearn-Koch takes the other at-large seat
Hagen Brody outpolled both his opponents in the runoff this week for two at-large seats on the Sarasota City Commission.
Unofficial returns showed him picking up 6,365 votes, for 43.72%. Jen Ahearn-Koch won the other at-large seat with 5,079 votes, or 34.89% of the total.
Martin Hyde came in third place during the May 9 runoff, winning 3,113 votes, or 21.38%, according to the unofficial returns.
Based on a Sarasota News Leader review of the precinct data provided by the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office, Brody prevailed in all but two precincts, including 109, which is Ahearn-Koch’s precinct.
The News Leader review of the elections office reports this week found that Ahearn-Koch carried only Precincts 111 and 207. Precinct 111 encompasses north Sarasota from General Spatz Boulevard south to Myrtle Street. Precinct 207 is bound by 10th Street on the north, Fourth Street on the south and Cocoanut Avenue on the west. Ahearn-Koch is a Tahiti Park resident.
The total number of ballots cast was 8,534, unofficial returns showed. Provisional ballots were to be counted at 5 p.m. on May 11, which was after the News Leader’s publication deadline.
The turnout represented 22.84% of the 37,365 registered voters in the city of Sarasota, the Supervisor of Elections Office reported.
Brody, who is a former prosecutor, is an attorney at Fowler Law Group. He is a graduate of Sarasota High School.
Ahearn-Koch is the founder of the consulting and marketing firm JAK Consults, which she established in 2001. Along with serving on the city’s Planning Board from 2009 to 2015, she has been active with the Tahiti Park Neighborhood Association.
Hyde is the owner of Gulf Business Systems in Sarasota, which he bought in 1999.
The two precincts with the largest percentages of voters were 213, which has the Bird Key Yacht Club as its polling place, and 203, with the First Baptist Church in downtown Sarasota as its polling place. Turnout was 43.61% for Precinct 213 and 42.32% for Precinct 203.
The polling place for the precinct with the lowest turnout was the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in north Sarasota, with 9.96%.
During the first election — held on March 14 — Ahearn-Koch was the top vote getter. The turnout that day was 19.12%, according to the Supervisor of Elections Office.
The turnout for the 2013 general election for the two-at-large City Commission seats was 17.34%, Supervisor of Election Office records note. At that time, 35,480 people were registered to vote in the city. During the May runoff in 2013, turnout increased to 19.97%, the records say.
Financial reports required to be filed four days before the runoff showed Hyde had raised $75,774.74 by that point and spent $74,529.90. As the News Leader reported last week, he contributed more than $40,000 to his campaign.
Hyde’s two biggest expenditures noted in his May 5 report were $2,817.50 and $4,213.35, both to Andrick & Associates of Sarasota, for mailers.
Ahearn-Koch’s four-day-out report showed her bringing in a total of $43,844 and spending $39,291.81. Her largest single expenditure was listed as $3,787.29 to Street Smartz of Jacksonville for an “endorsement runoff mailer,” according to her May 5 report. She paid the firm another $3,046.37 for a separate mailer, the document shows.
Brody’s total contributions as of his May 5 report were $40,420, while his expenses were $33,751.48. His biggest expense was $7,016.10 for mailers, paid to SonicPrint of Tampa.
Brody and Ahearn-Koch will be sworn in during a statutory City Commission meeting scheduled for noon on Friday, May 12, the city has announced. The event also will feature Mayor Willie Shaw’s State of the City Address.
After Shaw concludes his remarks, the new commission will select the mayor and vice mayor to serve for the next year.
City Hall is located at 1565 First St. in downtown Sarasota.