Winners Trevor Wofsey, left, and Luis Gonzalez congratulate one another on their election victories. ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly

When results of early voting came rolling in, Luis Gonzalez had a good feeling about his early lead. And yet, it was still too early to call.

“Elections are trends,” he said as he waited outside the Marathon Elks Lodge with his family, refreshing the election results on their phones every few seconds.

When all five precincts added their tallies to the early and absentee numbers, however, the trend would prove true, as Gonzalez and Trevor Wofsey won the two available seats on the Marathon City Council.

Out of 1,848 ballots cast, with voters able to choose one or two candidates, Gonzalez finished as the top vote-getter with 1,282 votes (41% of all votes submitted). Wofsey ended the night with 879 votes (28.1%). Jody “Lynny” Del Gaizo received 648 votes (20.7%), while Greg Coldiron finished with 319 votes (10.2%).

“It’s very, very simple. I’d like to thank all of the voters for coming out and I’d like to thank the candidates for running a clean race,” said Gonzalez. “To the candidates who weren’t successful, please keep working. Your ideas were good ones.” 

Gonzalez went on to thank his supporters who aided him in netting such a high percentage of votes. “Not only today but throughout the campaign, we had a wave of teal and black that just took over Marathon. Thank you to the entire city of Marathon. I love you guys!”

Wofsey echoed Gonzalez’s remarks on what appears, by all accounts, to be a clean campaign. “Everyone played nice, and there was no October surprise. It was good, because we all still have to get along and live with each other tomorrow, and we seem to have a good rapport with each other,” said Wofsey. 

Shortly after the results were finalized, Wofsey joined Gonzalez at his victory celebration, telling the crowd, “I think Marathon got it right this time. A family man and a working man. We’re moving Marathon forward.”

Though the result was not what he had hoped for, Coldiron graciously accepted Marathon’s decision. “I thought that my committee did an outstanding, dedicated job and that we ran a very aggressive and professional campaign,” he said. “I was expecting the race to be much closer than it was, but the people voted and made their decision, and I am 100% behind that.”

Del Gaizo was similarly thankful, stating, “I didn’t win a seat on the City Council, but I did win in meeting new people, learning about our city, and what it takes to run for City Council. Congratulations to Luis and Trevor. I’m positive that they have the best intentions to move our city forward. You’ll be seeing me again!”

The voter turnout, tracked live for the first time on the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections website, settled on a final voter turnout of 29.37%. Of the 6,293 eligible registered voters in the election, 4,445 chose not to cast ballots. The election also saw a significant number of “bullet” votes, in which only one candidate was selected on a ballot instead of two. With 3,128 votes cast from 1,848 ballots, 568 ballots (30.7%) were cast with only one candidate selected. 

“I was very pleased with the election. Everything went smoothly, and I was very pleased with our new equipment,” said Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin. Griffin also noted that voter turnout was up ever so slightly from Marathon’s last “off-year” election in 2019, which saw a 29.07% turnout.

The newly elected councilmen will take their seats at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

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Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.