Hezel wins South Whidbey Parks race, Blynd ‘darn near voted for him’

Having secured 77.8 percent of votes, Bob Hezel Jr. will be the next commissioner for the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District.

Hezel, 31, was surprised with the margin of victory over Captn Blynd for position 3 on the district’s board of commissioners.

“I was kind of stunned,” Hezel said. “I didn’t think I’d have that big of a lead.”

The Freeland construction business owner and longtime South Whidbey resident said he would attend upcoming parks commissioner meetings and review the 2014 budget. One of his top priorities is finding ways to expand parks programs and reviewing a possible bike trail at the Sports Complex.

“They expect me to start new programs, make the parks more recreational,” said Hezel of voters’ wants.

Blynd, garnering 22.2 percent of votes, credited Hezel’s lifetime on South Whidbey and the South Whidbey Record’s endorsement as reasons voters chose Hezel.

“I darn near voted for him,” Blynd laughed. “It’s nice to see a younger person on the board.”

Out of the total 5,093 ballots tallied in the parks race, 3,963 voted for Hezel and 1,130 for Blynd.

Though he lost the election, Blynd said he would continue to work with the parks district. He planned to present an idea of a yacht club-parks partnership on one of South Whidbey’s lakes or at Holmes Harbor.

Two other South Whidbey Parks commissioners were elected, though they ran unopposed. Mark Helpenstell won position 2 with 4,232 votes. Matt Simms won position 5 with 4,169 votes.


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