A low primary election turnout Tuesday moved incumbent Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent forward on his quest for a fifth term.
Neugent, 66, won the county's Republican vote in the District 2 election over second-time party challenger Danny Coll, a semi-retired 56-year-old Cudjoe Key businessman. The vote was 70.43 percent, or 3,272 votes, to 29.57 percent, or 1,374 votes.
Democratic challenger Eleanor McAdams will face Neugent in the Nov. 4 general election for the four-year term.
"I think the last four years have been my most productive time as a county commissioner," Neugent said Tuesday.
"I've spent a lot of time in Tallahassee dealing with [BP Deepwater Horizon funding] issues. I think that creates relationships and trust with a lot of the decision makers," he said. "I hope it pays dividends for Monroe County."
Aspects of the $162 million Cudjoe Key Regional Wastewater System were among issues that separated Neugent and Coll.
Neugent largely supports the system as now designed. Coll believes the county should do more to reduce the number of grinder pumps in the system serving 9,000 homes and businesses.
"I have no regrets," Coll said. "We all worked hard, calling people and holding signs to get out the vote. You can only do so much. I respect whatever decision the residents of the Florida Keys make."
Neugent raised about $45,100 in contributions and in-kind donations. He has more than a dozen people or businesses making $1,000 contributions.
"Very little of that was solicited," Neugent said. "People came out to support my campaign. That makes be feel very good."
Coll raised $18,825 in donations and another $6,653 of in-kind contributions. Former owner and an auto-parts store and private ambulance company, Coll donated more than $17,000 himself.
Coll, president-elect of the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce, has been active with volunteer fire-and-ambulance services.
Neugent, a Marathon resident, is a retired engineer and former restaurant owner.