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Miller Wins Fernandina Beach Mayor's Race Straw Poll; Runoff Forced In Group 3

Nassau County Supervisor of Elections

Former Fernandina Beach Mayor Johnny Miller has received a vote of confidence from the electorate to be appointed again to the office he previously held while Ronald “Chip” Ross and Orlando J. Avila are headed to a runoff in the Group 3 commission race.

In the straw ballot for mayor, Miller received 61.47% of the vote, compared to 38.53 for Commissioner Len Kreger. Robin Lentz currently serves as mayor.

While the straw ballot is not legally binding it does require the Fernandina Beach City Commission to take the results of the ballot under advisement in appointing the next mayor.

In Group 2, incumbent Commissioner Timothy Poynter was defeated by Philip Chapman III. Chapman received 56.1% of the vote, compared to 43.9% for Poynter.

In Group 3 no candidate got a majority, which will trigger a runoff election on December 12.

Ronald “Chip” Ross got 41,44% of the Group 3 votes. Orlando J. Avila received 30.65% and Medardo Monzon obtained 27.91%.

The Nassau County Supervisor of Elections reports a voter turnout of 25.48% for the election, which translated into 2,683 votes cast. There are 10,528 registered voters in Fernandina Beach.

Fernandina Beach registered voters can find their voting location for the December 12 runoff by clicking here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Johnny Miller is mayor. Miller is a past mayor and won the straw poll to likely be appointed the next mayor but Robin Lentz is Fernandina Beach's current mayor.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.