The flow of Marco voters to polls was a slow trickle Tuesday afternoon after heavy early voting. Watch »
- COLLIER RESULTS: Collier County Supervisor of Elections Web site
As election results slowly trickle in, the mood is tense at Konrad's restaurant on the southern end of Marco Island. Early voting numbers revealed that present anti-sewer candidates were behind their adversaries by about two to one.
About a half hour later, though, results have evened out slightly more, with Joe Batte, Andrew Guidry, Roger Hall and Butch Neylon drawing closer to rivals Jerry Gibson, Frank Recker, Bill Trotter and Wayne Waldack.
Candidates and supporters are all keeping their chins up, but some of the candidates' strategists are saying the numbers don't look good.
A group gathered around strategist Godfrey Davies frowned as he read off early voting results.
"It's not looking good for us," he said to the small crowd.
With Joe Batte out in front of the four anti-sewer candidates with 10.6 percent of the vote, at 2,313 ballots, the margin is still surmountable between he and his four rivals, who are each running at about 15 percent a piece.
What was billed as a party to thank the four candidates' most loyal supporters is dampening while people gather around the lobby's television to watch numbers roll in.
"Right now I'm not liking these numbers," said Batte. "I don't know how many more still need to be tallied, but I'm not optimistic about these figures."
The faces illuminated by the small screen look mostly glum, though the candidates are dealing with the dismal figures in stride.
"Look at it this way -- I've got more votes than Rudy Giuliani," Neylon said of the margin.
Guidry makes the rounds with his baby daughter on his shoulder.
"Gotta keep a stiff upper lip," he says, trying to display good nature. "The important thing is that the people got a chance to speak."
One resident speaks to him in past tense, as if the results are already decided.
"You did a good job," he tells Guidry.
It's cold comfort for a group that has said since June that the people of Marco Island want change, which they have promised to deliver at every turn.