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Stokes, Donnell move on in District 7 race

By Staff | Sep 13, 2011

The incumbent in the District 7 Cape Coral City Council race took second in Tuesday’s primary, squeezing past a challenger with 176 more votes.

Councilmember Derrick Donnell garnered 2,473 votes, or about 24 percent. The top vote-getter of the night was Dave Stokes with 4,135 votes – approximately 41 percent. Both will move on to the general election Nov. 8.

Donnell beat out Michael Garr, who received 2,297 votes, or about 23 percent. Fourth went to Erica Warren with 1,196 votes – approximately 12 percent.

“I’m very excited and happy,” Stokes said.

He referred to his positive campaigning and plan for the city to bring in new jobs and businesses as what helped him achieve his success Tuesday. He said he plans to maintain the status quo in the general election and campaigning.

“I’m very happy and pleased,” Stokes said. “I appreciate the support of the Cape Coral residents and the support of my family and supporters.”

He said he is looking forward to a bigger turnout in the November election.

“I hope Cape Coral residents will pay close attention to the candidates’ views and issues,” Stokes said.

Donnell also voiced appreciation for those who supported him.

“I’m very humbled and very thankful for all of Cape Coral that went out and showed their support for me,” he said. “Between now and November, we’ll be continuing to work hard as we move forward in a positive direction.”

Asked about his campaigning plans for the general election, Donnell said his camp intends to stay the course and stay positive, but work harder.

“We have to work much harder,” he said.

Donnell thanked residents for allowing him to serve the past four years.

“I look forward to serving them for four more,” he said.

Garr did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

Despite the loss, Warren called the experience a positive one.

“I’m actually really excited about it because, as a young person whose interested in politics, I’m hoping this encourages other young people to get involved, and that’s one of the main reasons I got involved,” she said.

Asked what she would do differently, she cited focusing on fund raising.

“Money is important,” Warren said.

“It was a one-woman show, I did everything on my own,” she said.

Warren voiced support for Stokes for the general election.

“I’m really excited to see what he does for the city,” she 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.

Four city council seats are on the November ballot.

The primary election results are unofficial until certified.