Mike Musick will be joining the Lakeland City Commission after defeating Shandale Terrell in a runoff.
The city held a runoff Tuesday for a Special Election to fill the void on the Commission left by U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin when he was elected to Congress last November. The Republican represents Florida’s 15th Congressional District.
Musick’s victory was narrow — he garnered 50.69% of the vote, while Terrell mustered 49.31%. As far as number of votes, Musick surpassed Terrell by 146.
Since no candidate broke the 50% threshold in the original election on April 6, the two advanced to a runoff election. In the April election, Terrell earned 40% of the vote — the most of all the candidates — and Musick raked in 34%.
Neither candidate has held an elected office in Polk County before.
Musick owns a local construction business, and ran on the platform of eliminating “unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape” to improve business opportunities in the city, according to his campaign site. Musick also works as a track coach for a local high school and serves as a deacon at Heritage Baptist Church.
Musick earned endorsements from Lakeland Realtors and BusinessVoice of Greater Lakeland, as well as from Polk County Commissioner Neil Combee.
Terrell is a teacher for the Polk County school system. The educator ran on the slogan, “Make A Difference In Our Community,” and advertised his platforms to include expanding business and reducing violent crime in the city, according to his campaign page.
He is involved with the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and a member of the City of Lakeland Gang Task Force Committee.
The other candidates who the pair ousted for the runoff were Steven Frankenberger and Ken Post.
Musick will have to run for election again in November, when Lakeland holds regular elections for that and four other City Commission seats.