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Campaign season gets under way for elected seats

By Staff | Jun 3, 2009

Cape Coral residents looking for a respite between the scramble for votes during the 2008 presidential election and the 2010 midterm elections are out of luck.
Municipal elections for the mayor and three council member seats are up for grabs this year, and candidates are beginning to announce their bid for office.
Jim Martin and Kenneth McClain filed paperwork last week to run for the District 1 seat. They are seeking to replace Gloria Tate, who stated that she would not seek to retain her position after being appointed to the seat in December.
Gordon Ultsch, chairman of the UEP committee, is seeking to replace Tim Day, who is term-limited in the District 6 seat. Councilmember Dolores Bertolini is looking to retain her District 4 seat.
The biggest election battle brewing appears to be over the mayor’s seat. John Sullivan, a prominent city activist and critic, announced his candidacy last week. Councilmember Eric Grill followed suit Monday, saying he intends to file his paperwork this week.
Mayor Jim Burch said last week that he is leaning toward a mayoral run, but he has not made a final decision.
“I still haven’t decided yet. I’m close, though,” Burch said Tuesday.

Brief candidate bios

District 1
— Jim Martin
Age: 77
Profession: Retired; previously worked as a contracts and pricing manager for Rockwell International
Why run: “The tax load on the citizens is becoming unbearable. I want to try to get control of the spending.”
Previous public offices/committees: None

— Kenneth McClain
Did not return phone calls Tuesday for comment.

District 4
— Dolores Bertolini
Age: 75
Profession: Retired; previously worked as government employee in New York state and office manager
Why run: “I feel like I can still be an asset to the city.”
Previous public offices/committees: Appointed to Legislative Review Board, Financial Advisory Board, Budget Review Board, Citizens Advisory Board for Minority Issues, Community Development Block Grant Board, Task Force for Council Compensation and Council Redistricting Committee. Elected as council member in 2005.

District 6
— Gordon Ultsch
Did not return calls Tuesday for comment.

Mayor
— Eric Grill
Age: 43
Profession: Contractor
Why run: Grill declined to discuss his reasons for running Tuesday, saying only, “It’s a very defined reason.”
Previous public offices/committees: Planning and Zoning Board member 2005-07. Elected to council 2007.

— John Sullivan
Age: 66
Profession: Retired; previously worked in the brokerage business and in information technology
Why run: “I decided to run because as somebody who’s been a city critic and activist I did feel I could get more done.”
Previous public office/committees: UEP committee member 2008-09.