NORTH PORT — Pete Emrich was victorious Tuesday night and will represent District 4.
Emrich ran unsuccessfully in 2017 against current Commissioner Jill Luke, but will now fill the seat of outgoing Vice Mayor Linda Yates.
Emrich ran against newcomer Kevin Rouse for the district.
District 4 covers the Biscayne Drive and Tamiami Trail areas of the city. Emrich is married to Englewood Sun Community News Editor Elaine Allen-Emrich.
Emrich said it has been a long year and it has been fun.
“We set our goals and have achieved that,” Emrich said.
Emrich worked for the city for 20 years. He said he is looking forward to working for the city again.
Emrich received 61 percent of the votes on Tuesday night, while Rouse received 38 percent.
“I had a lot of pride and I get to go back and work with the same people. It’s an opportunity I cherish,” Emrich said.
During his speech at Olde World Restaurant and Lounge, Emrich said he appreciated the support and said he believed in everything the city stands for.
He plans to push for better customer service for residents, tidying up the Unified Land Development code, developing Warm Mineral Springs and ensuring city funds are spent responsibly on budget.
While Rouse lost to Emrich, he said he plans to continue to be involved with the city.
“We’ve run a positive campaign and only responded in defense,” he said.
He added he respected the voters’ choice, but this race proved how much each vote counted.
Rouse said he and his family will continue to grow their network and work with the city. Rouse has plans to open a drive-in theater in North Port and he will continue to work on that.
While Rouse has no plans to run again in the city of North Port, he plans to run again in Sarasota County.
“I will represent North Port,” Rouse said.
Rouse said he was thankful for the support and has plans to continue to be involved in the city.
“(I’m) proud of what I have left behind and plan to continue moving forward,” Rouse said.