Anne Huffman reelected to Haines City Commission
Anne Huffman.

anne huffman
Huffman was first elected in 2017, becoming the first African American woman elected to the Haines City Commission.

Incumbent Anne Huffman beat challenger Kenneth Kipp in a runoff election Tuesday night for Haines City Commission Seat 5. 

Huffman took 50.66% of the vote, while Kipp collected 49.34%. Translated into the number of voters, Huffman ousted Kipp by only 28 votes.

The two opponents beat out three other candidates in the April 6 municipal election, where Huffman took 31% of the vote — the most of any candidate — and Kipp received 28.85% of the vote. Because neither secured more than half the votes, they advanced to a runoff. 

The incumbent has held the office since 2017, when she ousted Kipp from the seat and became the first African American woman elected to the Haines City Commission, according to the city.

Huffman has served in the role of vice mayor during her time on council, and has also held a position on the Florida League of Cities Legislative Policy Committee for at least three years.

Now retired, Huffman worked for more than three decades as a senior executive director of several resorts in the Orlando area — a career she says makes her fiscally responsible and while providing outstanding customer service, according to her campaign site

Huffman ran on the notions of equity and equality and described herself as a supporter of law enforcement.

Kipp is a former commissioner who was first elected in 2013, according to the Winter Haven News Chief. Kipp works as the dean of discipline at Haines City High School.

As second vice chair for the Polk County GOP, Kipp ran on the platform of stopping tax increases and overspending, addressing traffic problems, backing the police and keeping Planned Parenthood out of the city.

The other three candidates were Sameka Atkins, Kimberly Downing and Omar Arroyo, none of whom pulled more than 25% of the vote. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


2 comments

  • Douglas Elliott

    May 6, 2021 at 9:16 am

    I am so sorry that a racial candidate won the election in Haines City. We do not need more racial devide in our country. We ned members on the council that are for everyone and not just one ethnic group. Racial bias, blinds people and creates an unfair government.

    Reply

  • tom palmer

    May 7, 2021 at 8:55 am

    This election was about race. The GOP-backed PAC raised lots of money to “take back” the city, whatever that means. The same folks were also behind an attempt to amend the city charter to create single-member commission districts so that some areas of the city that were unable to prevail in a citywide vote could get their people in through the back door. Add to that that one of the major campaign contributions to the PAC came from a guy who owns a bar that was cited by the feds in the 1970s for refusing to serve Blacks.

    Reply

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