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Qualification opens for Cape mayor, council seats

By Staff | Jul 7, 2009

At least four people officially qualified Monday to run in Cape Coral’s municipal elections, taking advantage of the first day of the qualification period.
Incumbent District 4 Councilmember Dolores Bertolini is running for re-election, city activist John Sullivan is looking to unseat Mayor Jim Burch, Jim Martin is running to replace District 1 Councilmember Gloria Tate, who has stated she will not run, and John Cataldi Jr. is looking to fill the District 6 seat being vacated by Tim Day, who is term limited.
The qualification period ends at noon Friday.
Those who chose to submit their qualification papers early said they did not want to procrastinate and are waiting to see who their opponents will be as the qualification deadline nears.
“I turned in my papers early to let everyone know I was going to run,” Bertolini said. “We have four days to see if anybody will come out.”
Burch announced his intent to keep the mayor’s seat last month, and will likely see more candidates join the race this week.
During the last municipal elections in 2007, there were at least three candidates for every race.
“As far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier,” Sullivan said.
Bertolini anticipates more candidates will join her in the race, even though no one has officially announced their intention to run.
“The expectation is that somebody will come out and run,” she said.
To qualify, candidates must be a registered voter and have lived in the Cape for at least one year. For council member seats, the candidate must live in the district.
Candidates must also appoint a campaign treasurer, either themselves or a third party; open a campaign account; and submit a statement of financial interests in order to qualify. A check — $360.44 for mayor and $278.88 for a council member — must also be tendered to the city.
The necessary forms can be found online at: www.capecoral.net/Government/CityClerk/CityElections/tabid/498/Default.aspx, but the paperwork must be submitted in person at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall.
Assistant City Clerk Stacy Lentz noted that there were early entrants this year, but she is still anticipating last-minute qualifiers.
“So far we’ve been very busy, people have been doing it early. But often times people do wait until the last minute,” she said.