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Incumbents win Republican primaries, school board races

By Staff | Aug 27, 2008

With 100 percent of the results in Tuesday night, incumbents swept to victory in all races.

School District of Lee County incumbents Jeanne S. Dozier and Jane E. Kuckel were re-elected to the District 2 and 3 seats respectively.

Dozier culled 30,457, or 57 percent of the vote, to defeat challenger James A. Middlebrooks Jr., who received 23,223 votes, or 43 percent. Kuckel culled 34,078 votes, or 64 percent, to defeat challenger Ray Rodrigues, who

received 19,218, or 36 percent.

In the Republican primaries, the race for the party nomination for Lee County sheriff was a rout — Sheriff Mike Scott won 39,580 votes — a whopping 91 percent — over challenger Rod Shoap, who received 4,122 or 9 percent.

Scott will face Christian Meister, no party affiliation, in November.

In the races for three county commission seats, all three incumbents staved off challengers in the Republican primary to advance to the November ballot.

Incumbent Bob Janes led with 19,9009 votes to Cape Coral Mayor Eric P. Feichthaler’s 17,303. Gerard David Jr. trailed with 4,435 votes. Janes earned 47 percent of the vote. Feichthaler received 43 percent of the vote in the closest race of the evening, and David received 11 percent.

Janes will face A.J. Boyd, a former Cape Coral City Council member, and Carla Johnston, a current member of the Sanibel City Council, Nov. 4.

In District 3, Ray Judah easily held off a challenge by Anita Cereceda for the Republican nomination. Judah received 27,723 votes, or 66 percent.

Cereceda received 143,9003 votes, or 34 percent. Judah will face Les Cochran, no party affiliation, in November.

In District 5, Frank B. Mann handily defeated challenger Shawn Seliger in what was, perhaps, the most heated contest among the primary races. Mann received 25,203 votes, or 61 percent. Seliger received 16,300 votes, or 39


Mann will now face two challengers in November — Steve “Sonny” Haas and Dick Kuhn, both of whom are running without party affiliation.

Lee County Property Appraiser Ken M. Wilkinson easily staved off political newcomer Kyle Lee in the Republican primary. Wilkinson received 29,620 votes, or 71 percent of the tally; Lee received 12,091 votes, or 29 percent.

Wilkinson will now face two challengers in November, Democrat John Glaser and Larry St. Amand, who is running without party affiliation.

Results are unofficial until all ballots are counted and the election is certified.

Voter turnout in the race-heavy primary election was low, with just 32 percent of the registered Republicans casting a ballot. Turnout among Democrats and independents was much lower with 13 percent of the registered

Democrats voting and 5 percent of the registered independents casting a ballot.

Overall voter turnout, with all 171 precincts counted, was 20 percent. The total number of ballots cast was 58,749.

Those who did vote considered it an important primary.

“I thought all of the races were important, especially this time around. We need a lot of help. I try to vote every time,” said Moe Beneke.

Lee County voters were introduced to new voting machines during the primary.

Instead of using touch-screen machines as in previous elections, voters filled out a paper ballot that was inserted into an optical scanner.

Not everyone was sold on the new method, however.

“I don’t like the paper ballots. I’d rather go back to the touch-screens,” Carl Bradley said after voting at the First Christian Church precinct.

“Are we going back to the caveman days? Why are we doing this with pen and pencil? We had electronic voting, what was wrong with that?” asked Colleen Simon.

Other voters liked the fact the new method provides a physical proof of every vote.

“So far, so good. I’m no machine expert, but if it gives people confidence in the paper trail, then it works,” said Dawn Driscoll.

Some voters also voiced concerns about being able to be identified by their ballot, but Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said that is not the case.

“There’s nothing on the ballot that can identify the voter,” Harrington said.

Full results may be found on the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Web site at: www.leeelections.com/results/result2.html.