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Scott wins Republic primary for sheriff by landslide

By Staff | Aug 27, 2008

Incumbent Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott beat out former Sheriff Rod Shoap in a landslide victory with 90.57 percent of the votes in the Republican primary election Tuesday, with 39,580 votes. Shoap trailed at 9.43 percent

with 4,122 votes.

Election results are unofficial until they are certified by the supervisor of elections.

Scott also defeated Shoap in the 2004 primary election when Shoap was the incumbent sheriff, taking 61.83 percent of the votes in that race.

“We just want to get back to work,” said Scott of his victory Tuesday night.

“One crime is too many; I’m going back to work tomorrow morning.”

Scott celebrated his primary victory Tuesday night at Groove Street in Fort Myers among fellow Sheriff’s Office employees, family, friends and supporters.

Shoap declined comment to the Breeze, saying he planned to spend the evening quietly at his Cape Coral home. No official release from Shoap regarding the election was received by the Breeze by press time Tuesday night.

“I don’t think people forget the missteps of my opponent in 2004,” Scott said.

Scott attributed his victory to the strong work ethic of the Sheriff’s Office and his performance over the past four years, as well as running a successful campaign.

The sheriff’s race was a hot ticket Tuesday at the polls in Cape Coral.

“To me, it’s one of the more important jobs in the county,” said voter Jay Connors.

“I voted in the sheriff’s race,” said Dan Lynch. “That’s primarily the most important to me.”

Meanwhile, many voters openly pledged their support to Scott.

“I voted for Mike Scott because I don’t like Shoap,” said Yvonne Gibilisco. “I don’t like the job he did before when he was sheriff.”

“I feel strongly about the sheriff’s race,” said Peter Ellithorpe, another Scott supporter. “I think he has done a wonderful job; I want more of the same.”

Not all voters, though, backed Scott.

“This guy Rod Shoap was a better sheriff,” said Harry Schmedlock, a Cape Coral resident. “His deputies were a lot more congenial …”

Still, Scott was victorious in the primary and will face challenger Christian Meister, who is running without party affiliation, in the November general election.

“I take every threat seriously, whether it’s a drug dealer, a burglar, a tropical storm or an opponent,” said Scott of the general election race.

Scott wouldn’t speculate as to how likely a victory in November would be.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to win (the general election),” he said.