Rene Flowers was this close to avoiding a November runoff for the District 7 seat for Pinellas County School Board, collecting 47.89 percent of the vote Tuesday.
In the November general election, she'll face incumbent Glen Gilzean, who came in second in Tuesday's primary, with 15.74 percent of the vote. Gilzean is an appointee who has only served on the board since January.
Had Flowers received more than 50 percent of the vote, there would have been no runoff. She said while "50 percent plus one" was her goal, she was not banking on the campaign ending Tuesday night.
"I was something I was hoping for, but always planned for the next leg of the race," Flowers told Patch. "It’s hard to even get the percentage we got in a five-way race."
Tuesday night's results were initially delayed by a technical glitch. According to Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, vote totals had to be delivered to the elections office in Largo.
All 299 precincts had reported by 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website.
Flowers, a former St. Pete City Council member, watched the returns from the YMCA in Child's Park Tuesday night.
"The message was clear, this vote wasn’t just about me being another former elected official in the community," Flowers told Patch. "Individuals were able to embrace the vision that I put forward."
Gilzean was appointed to the school board in January by Gov. Rick Scott, after the death of board member Lew Williams in December.
He told the Tampa Bay Times, he welcomes the opportunity to continue to campaign.
"I feel great," he told the Times. "People, when they hear my message, they say he really does bring a lot to the table."
Twenty-year-old college student Corey Givens Jr. came in third in the race, with 14.28 percent of the vote.
Following Givens Jr. were Cassandra Jackson, with 11.65 percent of the vote, and Keisha Bell, with 10.45 percent.