Daniel Williams wins re-election in Lake Wales by 4 votes
Daniel Williams. Image via Facebook.

Daniel Williams
A recount confirmed his narrow victory over Brandon Alvarado.

Lake Wales City Commissioner Daniel Williams has won a nail-biter re-election bid for his Seat 2 post. A recount conducted by the Polk County Supervisor of Elections verified his four-vote win over Brandon Alvarado.

The Polk County Supervisor of Elections completed both a machine recount and manual recount to confirm Williams’ win. In the final tally, the incumbent received 943 votes, while Alvarado got 939 votes. Third-place candidate Crystal Higbee had 347 votes.

The election went into overtime, as Election Day results showed the race as too close to call. At the time, Williams led Alvarado by just one vote, 939 to 938. Before the first results were certified, the city also provided time for three voters to cure signatures on vote-by-mail ballots. The Canvassing Board, made up of City Commissioners who did not appear on the ballot, also accepted a single provisional vote.

Florida law requires a recount for elections decided by less than 0.5 percentage points, which applied in this race. The margin after that still fell 0.25 points, prompting a state-mandated manual recount of the votes.

Ultimately, both Williams and Alvarado netted votes, but the incumbent’s margin of victory grew.

The close race unfolded at the same time voters ousted a second incumbent. Lawyer Carol Gillespie unseated City Commissioner Danny Krueger, winning 57% of the vote in a two-person race.

Williams, a local pastor, first won his seat in 2021. He survived the election challenge in a contentious election year. Alvarado is President of the Lake Wales History Museum Board of Directors and Chair of the Historic District Regulatory Board.

The election took place the same night as other Polk County municipalities Haines City and Davenport also held election contests.

In Haines City, a City Commission race is continuing to an April 30 runoff. But Lake Wales’ city charter calls for just one election for City Commission seats, with the top vote-getter winning the seat.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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