JACKSONVILLE, Fla., May 14 (UPI) -- Republican Mayor-elect John Peyton said he was beginning Wednesday to repair rifts created by his defeat of black Sheriff Nat Glover.
Peyton's landslide victory ended Glover's bid to become the first African-American mayor of the traditionally southern city.
"It is now time to get to work and we will not be effective unless we work together," Peyton said. "We will reach out to every corner of the community, especially the areas that did not support us."
Peyton, 38, won Tuesday's election with a 58-42 percent margin with all precincts reporting Wednesday morning. But it became apparent an hour after the polls closed that Peyton was going to be the winner.
The turnout was nearly 50 percent, higher than expected, but not as high as Glover needed.
The campaign was marred two weeks ago by the appearance of racist graffiti at Glover's campaign headquarters and the office of a white Republican supporter of his candidacy.
Peyton offered a reward for the culprits but Glover declined his offer to clean up the graffiti.
Glover said he held no hard feelings.
"While we did not prevail today, let's not allow this setback to hold us back," said Glover, Jacksonville's first black sheriff. "While elections may highlight some of the difficulties, now is the time to come together and move forward."
"I'm going to be here in this community, in whatever capacity. I want to be here to serve the people. I still feel that I owe this community the best that I have to offer," he said.
Glover remains sheriff until Peyton and sheriff-elect John Rutherford are sworn in July 1. He said he will work closely with Rutherford to make a smooth transition in the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Peyton, a vice president of family-owned Gate Petroleum, will replace Mayor John Delaney, who could not run for re-election because of term limits.