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Primary election to narrow down candidate list

By Staff | Sep 15, 2009

Cape Coral voters will determine today who will advance to the general election in two key races.
Cape Coral has 88,427 active registered voters and 5,670 inactive voters, who still have an opportunity to vote at the polls from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. today.
The candidates for the primary mayor’s race include incumbent James Burch and challengers Roger Butler, Stephen Lovejoy, Robert Pizzolongo and John Sullivan.
District 6 candidates include Frank Antos Jr., John Cataldi Jr. and Kevin McGrail.
The top two vote-getters in the mayor’s race and District 6 will face each other in the general election in November.
The general election candidates for District 1 are Jim Martin and “Kenneth” Marty McClain.
District 4 candidates are incumbent Dolores Bertolini and Chris N. Chulakes-Leetz.
Registered voters can cast a ballot in each race; city elections are nonpartisan and citywide, meaning all voters living in the Cape can vote regardless of party affiliation or the district in which they live.
Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington said this year’s election is very important due to the number of disgruntled Cape residents who do not like what is going on in the city.
“If they want changes, they need to get out there and vote and support their particular candidates,” she said.
Early voting for Cape Coral numbered 1,402 ballots, which equaled 200 votes lower than 2007, according to Harrington.
Fort Myers had 487 early votes with a total of 25,199 active voters and 2,624 inactive voters for today’s election.
Harrington said there has been some temporary changes to polling locations in the Cape for today.
Individuals should have received a letter in the mail or a new voting card explaining the new location. If voters did not receive the information, there are signs at the old polling locations to direct them to the correct locations.
Harrington said that if voters are not sure of where to vote, they should call the office at 533-8683.
President of BJM Consulting Joe Mazurklewicz said elections are important every year, but especially this year due to the economy.
“We need the best people possible to govern us in these times,” he said.
Mazurklewicz explained that the Cape needs to have a government working as a partner to make sure the city has the proper infrastructure to recover from these economic times.
“I would love to see more than 10 percent make it to the primary,” he said.
In the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s Cape Coral had record city turnouts at elections, according to Mazurklewicz.
“Recently we have had extremely small turnouts,” he said, adding that it it is such an easy process to vote.
Mazurklewicz encouraged residents to take 15 minutes out of their day to vote in candidates who will take the city out of these trying times.