Damien H. Gilliams, currently in jail, fails to win back Sebastian City Council seat

Voters cast ballots for City Council seats in Vero Beach, Sebastian
Damien Gilliams jail photo, Sebastian City Hall
Posted at 11:29 AM, Nov 07, 2023

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Damien H. Gilliams, who is serving out his sentence stemming from his 2021 conviction for holding a secret meeting in violation of Florida's Sunshine Law, was defeated in his attempt to regain his seat Tuesday night.

Gilliams, who is currently in the Indian River County Jail in Vero Beach after unsuccessfully challenging his conviction, received 175 votes in a six-person race for three council member spots. The district includes three precincts.

Damien Gilliams speaks to WPTV by phone from Indian River County Jail


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The unofficial winners were current Mayor Fred Jones with 3,444, incumbent Bob McPartlan with 3,157 votes and Vice Mayor Christopher Nunn with 2,919.

Sherrie Matthews finished fourth with 2,039 and Damien L. "Junior" Gilliams, the son of the former council member, received 159 votes.

A City Council election also took place in Vero Beach.

Incumbent Mayor John E. Cotugno was reelected with 1,507 votes. The other candidates were Taylor J. Dingle (1,177) and former Councilwoman Honey Minuse (1,023).

The voter turnout in the county was 21.31% with a total of 46,490 ballots cast.

WPTV DMA Congressional District Map