Traylor wins Republican primary for county commission seat

Incumbent City Commissioner for Gulf County’s District 2 Ward McDaniel will not be returning to his seat after having been defeated in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the position.

In a close three-way race, McDaniel was narrowly beaten by  Billy Traylor, who won by only eleven votes.

According to Gulf County Supervisor of Elections John Hanlon, although the race was close, vote totals are final.

“It was tight margins, but it is outside of recount territory,” said Hanlon. 

Traylor received 186 of 505 total votes, or 36.83 percent. McDaniel received 175 votes, and Tom Semmes, a former communications electronic officer for the White House and the third candidate in the Republican primary, received 144 votes.

There are no runoff elections for the position, even if no candidate garners a majority vote. Therefore, Traylor’s name will be placed on the November ballot along with Democratic candidate Michael Riley, the only Democrat to run for the seat.

Traylor has been undergoing treatments for brain cancer while campaigning for the office. He said he is nearing the end of his treatments.

“Thank you to everyone for your vote and to my opponents for a respectful race,” Traylor wrote in a Facebook post. “I am doing well and have one more week of treatments! Look forward to seeing each of you soon. Remember to vote on November 8.”

Here’s how Gulf County voted in other primary races



County Commission Dist. 2
Ward McDaneil 175 votes 34.65%
Tom Semmes 144 votes 28.51%
Billy Traylor 186 votes 36.83%


Commissioner of Agriculture
James Shaw 390 votes 26.05%
Wilton Simpson 1,107 votes 73.95%




Charlie Crist 367 votes 51.9%
Cadence Daniel 32 votes 4.53%
Nicole “Nikki” Fried 262 votes 37.06%
Robert L. Williw 46 votes 6.51%
Ricardo De La Fuente 20 votes 2.9%
Val Demings 484 votes 70.25%
Brian Rush 120 votes 17.42%
William Sanchez 65 votes 9.43%
Attorney General
Aramia Ayala 238 votes 36.12%
Jim Lewis 257 votes 39%
Daniel Uhlfelder 164 votes 24.89%
Commissioner of Agriculture
Naomi Esther Blemur 305 votes 45.66%
J.R. Gaillot 182 votes 27.25%
Ryan Morale 181 votes 27.1%

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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