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Six candidate forums set for the next two weeks

By Staff | Aug 20, 2011

The Cape Coral Civic Association will host its popular Candidates Forum next Tuesday at the Yacht Club, kicking off a slate of near back-to-back election forums that will play out over the next two weeks.

As of Thursday, all but two of the 18 candidates were scheduled to attend the Civic Association forum, according to Civic president Lyndia Bradley.

Bradley said District 2 challenger Dan Sheppard had not yet confirmed his appearances.

District 2 incumbent Pete Brandt has told The Breeze he has declined to attend.

Bradley is expecting at least 200 people to show for the event, which over the years has become one of the more widely attended candidate forums in the city.

With so many candidates this year, Bradley said an effort will be made to keep the proceedings moving, using some “yes” and “no” questions to go along with opening and closing statements and standard timed answers.

Bradley promised the questions would challenge the candidates.

“The questions will probably be tough … we don’t want easy questions,” Bradley said.

Bradley thinks many of the candidates have gotten more comfortable in the role since their first forum, which was held by the Cape Coral Association of Realtors in July.

“I think a lot of them have done their homework,” she added.

The Civic Association came under fire earlier this year when they didn’t allow a private videographer to film one of their monthly meetings, prompting council member and incumbent Bill Deile to try and bar the group from using the Yacht Club facilities.

Though the relationship between Civic and some council members has been strained, Lyndia Bradley said all candidates will be treated fairly during the forums.

“There’s probably going to be a little mistrust and some accusations but we will be fair to everyone,” Bradley said. “We will treat everyone with respect. Even when we disagree, they will be treated with respect.”

The City of Cape Coral will host its primary election forums August 25 – 26, both starting at 7 p.m.

Candidates from Districts 2 and 7 will be present on the 25th. And candidates from Districts 3 and 5 will be on the 26th, according to City spokeswoman Connie Barron.

The meetings will be recorded and made available for viewing on the city’s website.

Monday, Aug. 29, will be the first of two forums held by the Cape Coral Northwest Neighborhood Association. The second forum will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

The Aug. 29 forum will feature Dan Sheppard, Lenny Nesta, Alan Sheppard, Carlos Alvarez, Bennie Barnes, James McManus, Charles Stanton, William ‘Scott’ Morris and Michael Garr.

The Aug. 31 forum will feature Pete Brandt, John Carioscia, Joe Coviello, Bill Deile, Richard Leon, Rana Erbrick, Dave Stokes, Erica Warren and Derrick Donnell.

NWNA President Stella Peters said only certain candidates could make certain forums so it made sense to split them up. Peters also said it made sense since all candidates are elected at large.

“We wanted to look at it from a broader aspect,” Peters added.

Both forums will be held at Mariner High School, from 7 – 9 p.m.; doors will open at 6:30.

Peters said people will have the chance to come early and mingle with the candidates.

The Cape Coral Republican Club will host its forum Tuesday, 7 p.m. at Palmetto Pines Country Club.

14 of the 18 candidates are scheduled to appear.

Finally, the Southwest Neighborhood Association will host its second candidate forum on Wednesday, September 7, at Oasis Middle School.

The forum will feature candidates from Districts 3 and 5. Their previous forum, held Aug. 10, featured candidates from Districts 2 and 7.