PORT RICHEY ― Former Pasco sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Kinsella and interim council member Todd Maklary were the top two vote-getters in Tuesday night’s special election, both earning seats on the Port Richey City Council.
It was another step toward restoring normalcy in Port Richey, which was scandalized earlier this year by the arrests of the city’s mayor and vice mayor.
Kinsella, 67, and Maklary, 42, will fill the seats of former vice mayor Terry Rowe and council member Richard Bloom finishing the remaining 18 months left on their three-year terms until the city’s April 2021 election.
Both Kinsella and Maklary easily beat out a third candidate ― 60-year-old Joseph Parisi ― according to the unofficial, preliminary results in the three-person, nonpartisan race.
“I think it’s another step forward for Port Richey," Maklary said. "Both Tom and Joseph ran a very honorable, clean campaign with professionalism.
“I am looking forward to working with Tom and the rest of council for the betterment of Port Richey.”
Kinsella received 43 percent of the vote, or 242 votes. Maklary came in second with 36 percent, or 202 votes. Parisi received 20 percent, or 114 votes, in a race with a voter turnout of 17 percent.
Rowe resigned June 28 after authorities arrested him in March on conspiracy charges stemming from his recorded jail phone conversation with former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad.
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Massad made national headlines after the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said he fired a gun at deputies serving an arrest warrant on charges of the unlicensed practice of medicine at Massad’s home.
Rowe joined his colleague in jail because authorities say he and the jailed mayor were recorded discussing how to intimidate a Port Richey police officer who was involved in the investigation into Massad.
Bloom’s seat became vacant when he resigned to run in a June 18 special election to fill Massad’s seat. He lost to current Port Richey Mayor Scott Tremblay.
Kinsella is a former St. Petersburg police officer who joined the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, then retired as a sergeant after 20 years with the agency. He finished his career in law enforcement serving overseas with the United Nations International Police Task Force. He is currently manager of the safety and security department at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. He is also a member of the Port Richey Citizens Advisory Committee.
Maklary, 42, is a commercial real estate project manager who has served in Bloom’s seat since June when the City Council appointed him on an interim basis. Prior to that, Maklary also ran in the mayoral special election, coming in third in a five-candidate race.