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Burch returns to council, captures District 1 post

By Staff | Nov 6, 2013

A former Cape Coral mayor and council member will again take a seat on the city dais.

Jim Burch was the top vote-getter in the Cape Coral City Council District 1 race, scoring 54.91 percent of the total votes cast – 8,376 votes – during Tuesday’s general election. In September, Burch earned the top spot in the primary by taking home 57.39 percent of the total votes cast, or 4,203 votes.

Burch beat out David Headd for the seat, who captured 45.09 percent Tuesday, or 6,878 votes.

In September’s primary, Headd took 26.41 percent of the total votes cast – 1,934.

“I think in politics a lot of times the money tends to do it, but this time it wasn’t the case, and I’m very proud of that,” Burch said of Tuesday’s win.

Setting out not to spend a lot of money on the campaign, Burch tried to focus on his platform.

“I said I’m just going to get out there and make sure our message is heard,” he said.

Celebrating with family and friends Tuesday, Burch congratulated Headd on running a good race.

“David Headd, I thought, ran a very clean campaign. I’m beholden to him for running a clean campaign,” he said, adding that politics in the Cape can sometimes take a different route.

Headd expressed disappointment Tuesday in the city.

“I was hoping,” he said, citing voter turnout as a likely reason behind his loss. “Because of the large voting blocs we have in the city, I had to have a large turnout to expect to the victorious.”

“Because you have your union bloc, which will be probably 1,500 votes or 2,000,” Headd said. “Anything less than a 20 percent turnout – I was really going to be struggling.”

He noted the “horrible turnout” of about 8 percent in the primary election.

“I was really hoping to stretch that and get that,” Headd said.

Asked if he would run again for office in the future, Headd voiced uncertainty.

“I don’t see it in the cards, but four years is a long way away,” he said.

On Tuesday, Burch knew what one of his first priorities would be as a council member.

“For me, it’s restoring the honor and integrity of the council, that’s absolutely number one,” he said.

Returning the defunct Golf Club into a historic property and working to truly diversify the city’s revenue steam also topped the list, along with pushing for more tax dollars for pre-platted communities. Burch pointed to the Community Redevelopment Agency and the city utilities and infrastructure.

“We have a full plate,” he said. “There are a lot of things to accomplish, a lot of things to do, and I’m absolutely looking forward to tackling any and all things we have.”

Burch called any challenges opportunities for the council to collectively come up with solutions.

“I will work as hard or harder than anyone else. You will get 110 percent out of me,” he said.

Headd said a priority for him would have been the city’s spending.

“Our spending it out of control. I was hoping to see that tailored back a little bit,” he said.

The election results are not official until certified.