For the first time since 2009, someone else will be seating in Curtis Holmes' Seat 3 on the Largo City Commission.
Challenger Eric Gerard defeated the incumbent Nov. 3 after capturing 54.21% of the votes (19,886) compared with Holmes' 16,799.
Holmes was elected to the City Commission in 2009, and was reelected in 2012 and 2016.
Gerard, who has lived in Largo for 35 years, is vice chair of the city’s Planning Board and a past president of the Greater Largo Library Foundation. He is also a former journalist and small business owner, founding his own marketing agency. He is married to Pat Gerard, chairwoman of the Pinellas County Commission and a former Largo mayor.
Leading up to the election, Holmes touted his fiscal conservatism and 11 years of experience on the commission and said it produced results in saving millions of dollars of taxpayers' money.
Gerard said the city has been doing good work, but it needs to be a leader in Pinellas on issues such as affordable housing and efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“I love this city,” he said last month. “I’m very proud of it. I’m proud of our forward thinking and the initiatives that we take to continually increase the standard of living for all of our residents.”
Gerard maintained the financial edge from the start and raised $71,495 in donations from a variety of well-known contributors, according to campaign finance documents.
Some of those contributors include colleagues of his wife, who also served as his treasurer.
Holmes, however, didn't back down and managed to raise $32,639 of his own.
Mayor Woody Brown and Commissioner Jamie Robinson were reelected to the City Commission when no one came forward to challenge them by the end of the candidate qualifying period July 30.