Four votes separated current vice mayor Henry Rosenthal from former councilwoman Deb Gillis following a machine recount on Nov. 11 at the county supervisor of elections office in Key West. Nov. 18 will determine the victor with military and overseas ballots due. 

Unofficial results from Election Night showed six votes separating Islamorada incumbent Henry Rosenthal from former councilwoman and motel owner Deb Gillis. Joyce Griffin, supervisor of elections, said Gillis picked up a vote through a provisional ballot to bring her total to 1,140. 

During the machine recount, the supervisor of elections said Rosenthal lost a vote, bringing his total to 1,144. Early votes, votes by mail and Election Day ballots are completely reported. 

Griffin told the Keys Weekly last week that a recount, per Florida law, is done when the result is less than one-half of 1%. The race for Seat 4 saw Rosenthal securing 34.30% of the vote while Gillis had 34.12% of the vote. The race for Seat 4 had three other candidates, with Angel Borden receiving 385 votes, John Timura gathering 363 votes and Casey Watkins getting 306 votes. 

It’s the first time in the village’s history that a seat race saw five candidates. A little over 3,330 votes were cast for candidates vying for Seat 4. 

It’s unknown how many overseas ballots will make their way to the supervisor of elections office. Canvassing of overseas ballots will begin on Friday, Nov. 18 from 4 to 4:30 p.m. 

Per the village charter, a canvassing board made up of Marne McGrath, village clerk, Maria Bassett, finance director, and Amanda Merren, public relations specialist, will convene to certify vote totals once the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections certifies all ballots. The Village Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet on Nov. 21 at 3:30 p.m. 

A new council will be seated during a Dec. 8 meeting at Founders Park Community Center. Incumbents Buddy Pinder and Mark Gregg will return to the dais following victories on Election Night. Newcomers Elizabeth Jolin and Sharon Mahoney will also be sworn in, following their wins on Nov. 8.

Jim McCarthy is a Western New Yorkers who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. Jim is a sports fanatic who loves to watch football, mixed martial arts and golf. He loves to hit the links and play some softball with his Make A Play team. He also enjoys time with family and his new baby boy, Lucas, who arrived Oct. 4, 2022.