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Mayor, former Cape mayor join ’09 run for seat

By Staff | Jul 9, 2009

Cape Coral Mayor Jim Burch, former Mayor Roger Butler and Stephen Lovejoy qualified for this year’s municipal elections Wednesday.
Each will run against city activist John Sullivan, who qualified Monday, and Robert Pizzolongo, who qualified Tuesday, for the city’s highest seat.
The presence of at least three people in the mayor’s race guarantees a primary election, to be held Sept. 15. A runoff election will be held between the top two vote-getters Nov. 3.
Burch, who announced his intent to run last month, said Butler’s entrance in the race does not affect how he will run his campaign.
“I’ve still got a city to run. I still think we need good, strong, serious leadership, and I think I offer that,” he said.
Butler was the mayor of Cape Coral from 1993-2000.
He points to the construction of the Midpoint Bridge, the new City Hall complex and the extension of Del Prado Boulevard, Veterans Parkway and Cultural Park Boulevard as some of the major accomplishments achieved in his tenure.
Cape Coral’s dismal economic status and, what Butler considers, the city’s excessive spending prompted him to join the race.
“I just feel there’s some changes got (sic) to be made in the city about their spending. There’s a lot of people out there that are hurting bad,” he said.
Sullivan was also not fazed by the increased competition in the mayor’s race and welcomed a crowded run.
“That’s not going to affect what I’m going to do,” he said.
Sullivan was also not worried that Butler’s criticism of city spending — one of Sullivan’s main platforms — would draw away votes he might otherwise receive.
“No, I’m not worried about it. In fact, I’m glad that somebody else is saying it,” he said.
In other council races, Kevin McGrail qualified for the District 6 seat Wednesday to join John Cataldi Jr.
The District 1 and District 4 seats have only one qualified candidate in each race so far, Jim Martin and incumbent Dolores Bertolini, respectively.
To qualify, candidates must appoint a campaign treasurer, open a campaign account and submit a statement of financial interests. A check — $360.44 for mayor and $278.88 for a council member — must also be tendered to the city.
Candidates must also have lived in the Cape for at least one year, and for council seats they must live in that district.
The necessary forms can be found online at: www.capecoral.net/Government/CityClerk/CityElections/tabid/498/Default.aspx, but must be submitted in person at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall.
The deadline to qualify is Friday at noon.