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Nesta, Deile advance in District 3

By Staff | Sep 13, 2011

A challenger vying for the District 3 Cape Coral City Council seat garnered more than half – nearly 52 percent – of the votes Tuesday in the primary.

Leonard Nesta Jr. was the top vote-getter of the night with 5,273 votes. Incumbent Bill Deile came in second with 3,403 votes, or about 33 percent. With 1,494 votes – about 15 percent – Alan Sheppard took the third spot.

Nesta and Deile will move on to face off in the general election in November.

“It’s a very humbling experience,” Nesta said. “I am overwhelmed.”

He felt that the election results are a sign of the times.

“I believe the citizens are speaking out,” he said. “They want change, and I believe they want to see a new seated council.”

Deile did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

With this being his first run at a political office, Nesta plans to stick with what worked in the primary election.

“I believe in my foundation, of what I’ve set out in the beginning to do,” he said. “I don’t believe I’m going to change.”

Despite not moving forward, Sheppard called the process positive.

“It was a great experience one way or another,” he said.

“With the amount of money that I had in my account, and the amount that I was able to spend – approximately $600 and five display signs – I think 1,400 votes was pretty good,” Sheppard said.

He added that he could have done more if he had had more funding.

“I would have done a lot of the same things that my opponents did,” he said.

Sheppard hopes the final winner addresses the city’s lack of revenue.

“I think that the current administration has really kept the revenue down to keep the issues going,” he said.

According to Sheppard, when the current city council lowered the millage rate, it equated to $2 million in lost revenue. He said maintaining the millage rate would have cost about $13 per person annually.

“That hurt negotiations between the fire, police and city administration,” Sheppard said.

There were 10,333 ballots cast in the city’s primary election – about 11 percent of the 92,995 total registered voters. There were 1,242 absentee ballots. Early voters totaled 2,908, and 6,183 people hit the polls Tuesday.

Results are unofficial until certified by the Supervisor of Elections.

The general election is Nov. 8. Four city council seats are on the ballot.