Pre-qualifying for city elections starts Monday
With pre-qualifying for this year’s municipal election beginning Monday, three more residents have announced their intent to seek council seats in Districts 2 and 5.
The qualifying period for candidates begins at 7:30 a.m. on July 5, and concludes July 8 at noon.
Since those dates coincide with a holiday, the city is offering a pre-qualifying period that runs from 7:30 a.m., Monday, June 27, though noon Friday, July 1. Documents received during the pre-qualifying period will not be processed by the City Clerk’s office until the official qualification period begins, according to the city’s website.
As of Friday, no candidates had declared in District 3. Karie Rathburn had previously announced her intention to run for the seat, but withdrew on June 6.
The District 3 seat is currently held by Bill Deile.
Dan Sheppard joins an already crowded District 2 race, where incumbent Pete Brandt hopes to retain his seat. John Caroscia, John Miehle and Joe Coviello have also announced their intent to run.
Shepherd, 48, is a regular fixture during public comment at city council meetings and has been a Cape resident since 1998.
He said Friday that his mission as a councilman, if elected, would be to continue acting as an advocate for the citizens. Sheppard said that he was instrumental in getting an ordinance passed that allowed people to plant Royal Palms in their front yards, as well “getting things changed” so citizens could landscape their medians. He said 22 medians have been beautified and more are in the works.
“I want to keep the ball rolling and I thought if I ran for office I’d be able to do more than I’m doing now,” Sheppard said.
Although he does not have a website or any campaign announcement planned as of yet, Sheppard said citizens can reach him at 633-1584 if they have questions for him.
“I want to strive to make the Cape a better place,” he added.
Meanwhile, the District 5 race has been joined by two newcomers, Rana Erbrick and Charles Stanton. Previously, Richard Leon was the only announced candidate.
That District 5 position is currently held by Erick Kuehn.
Stanton, 54, has been a Cape Coral resident since 1964, he said.
He has no immediate plans for an official campaign kick-off or announcement, but said that economic development and the utilities expansion project would feature heavily in his campaign efforts.
He said he got into this year’s race because he finally has the time to dedicate to moving Cape Coral forward.
“I’m retired now so I have the time to devote to it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Erbrick, 52, has been a full time Cape Coral resident since 2005.
She currently sits on the Financial Advisory Committee and was a former president of the New Residents Club. She also currently serves as a volunteer at City Hall.
Erbrick said she was compelled to run, in large part, because of the way city council members treat each other and the public. With no “voice of reason” on the dais, she said, there’s little chance of moving the city forward in any positive way.
She also said the mayor’s recent challenge of resident and District 2 candidate John Miehle during public comment was also a deciding factor.
“If you don’t have a board that’s getting along, if they’re just snapping back and forth, you can’t have good decisions,” she said. “You have to create that dialogue with the public and you can’t stay stuck on A and B. You need to get to C at some point.”
An official campaign announcement is due soon from Erbrick, but she’s already launched a web page and a facebook page: rana4council.com and rana4council/facebook.
Candidates that have already announced in District 7 include Richard Holler, David Stokes, Erica Nicole Warren and Michael Garr.
The District 7 seat is currently held by Derrick Donnell.