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Trump and Chickens Victorious on Ballot in Okaloosa and Valparaiso

Dive into the aftermath of Okaloosa County's election night, where Trump triumphed and chickens secured a close win!

The excitement of election night in Okaloosa County for the Presidential Preference Primary had its wings clipped a couple of weeks ago when the last of the former president’s rivals, Nikki Haley dropped out of the race. 

Still, the show had to go on. 

Chickens won a narrow victory – presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump did not. He posted a slightly higher margin of victory in his race among Okaloosa County voters than in the rest of the state. 

Pro-Chicken Forces Win Slim Vote in Valparaiso

The vote on chickens follows more than a year of debate between the Valparaiso City Commission and a group called “The Coop,” which advocates allowing domesticated hens inside city limits. 

Pro-chicken forces won 52.88% of the vote, 294 votes in total. Two hundred sixty-two residents voted against the measure. There are 3,226 eligible voters in Valparaiso, so the vote had roughly 17.2% turnout, slightly ahead of the general turnout of 16.9%. 

The margin of victory (5.76%) was relatively close – but not near the margin where an automatic recount of the votes would take place. The final numbers are “Unlikely to change,” said Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux in an election night email to Mid Bay News, “We have all of the ballots, save any potential unscathed ballots from the precinct (of which I suspect there [are] none). Any other changes (provisional ballots, cured vote-by-mail, etc.) would be so slight that I doubt that there should be any. It will not amount to enough to change the outcome.”

The referendum on chickens is non-binding, which means the Valparaiso City Commission can, but doesn’t have to, take the vote under advisement. Chances are, the Commission will discuss the chicken vote at length at its next regular meeting on April 8. The Commission does have a special meeting on March 26 to swear in Kay Hamilton and Chris Wasdin, two commissioners who ran unopposed in these elections. 

Should the city allow hens in city limits, they would join several other Okaloosa County cities, including Mary Esther, Crestview and Fort Walton Beach. 

Niceville does not allow chickens to live in city limits. 

Destin does not have an ordinance on their books related to chickens. 

Donald Trump Wins Florida’s Primary

As we alluded to at the beginning of this election-day article, Former President Donald Trump emerged victorious in the Florida Primary with a little over 80% of the votes. This means that the presumptive nominee will gain Florida’s 125 delegates at the Republican National Convention this summer. 

Okaloosa County’s margin for the Former President was 82.01% of 13,942 votes. Trump did best in Madison County, to the west of Tallahassee. There, He earned 93.5% of the vote. In south Florida, Trump’s numbers were lower—in the 70% range. The Former President did worst in Sarasota County, where he earned 76.1% of the vote. 

Okaloosa County also followed the rest of the state in finishing order for the other candidates. 

Both statewide and in Okaloosa County, Nikki Haley came in second, Ron DeSantis third, and Chris Christie fourth. Haley underperformed her statewide results in Okaloosa County, earning 11.6% of the Okaloosa Vote—compared to 14% statewide. Ron DeSantis significantly overperformed relative to his statewide results, earning 4.9% of the vote in Okaloosa County to his 3.9% showing statewide. 

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