District 3: Stout, Cammarota advance to general election
City Council District 3 candidates Marilyn Stout and Chris Cammarota will move forward from Tuesday’s primary election to face one another in November.
Stout came in as the top vote-getter with 6,091 votes, or 45.92 percent, followed by Cammarota with 3,872 votes – 29.19 percent. Jerome “Jerry” Doviak then garnered 3,300 votes, or 24.88 percent.
According to the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office, 32 precincts with 118,569 people were eligible to vote in the primary. A total of 14,322 ballots were cast – 12.08 percent of the total.
On Tuesday night, Stout expressed amazement at the election results.
“I didn’t even have a big party tonight because I was not sure I would come through the election,” she said. “I am delighted with the number of people who voted. I look forward to the Nov. 3 election.”
Asked what pushed her to the front, she cited name recognition as a possibility.
“I think a good part of it is I’ve lived here 33 years. I think that people recognize that I really care,” Stout said. “I think voters are leaning toward a woman, when they feel the woman is qualified.”
She noted that this election seems different than other elections because of voter involvement, like the numerous calls and emails asking her about her stances. Stout also pointed to the candidate forums.
“I think that helped, I think that made a difference,” she said.
As for her opponents, Stout applauded them for running clean professional campaigns.
“It was a very good race,” she said. “I think anybody who steps up to the plate and runs deserves congratulations.”
Cammarota acknowledged that the upcoming weeks will be tough.
“The next 40 some days are going to be hectic,” he said. “We’ll do the best we can.”
Cammarota hopes to raise more funds for his “grassroots” campaign.
“There’s no special interests in my corner,” he said.
Moving forward in the battle against Stout, Cammarota wants to focus on the issues like revenue diversification and the municipalization of the city’s electric services as a way to stand out.
“I’m the newcomer. She’s been around politics,” he said. “I’m going to have to put my foot forward.”
Cammarota also noted how civil the campaigning was in their race.
“Both Marilyn and Jerry were very cordial,” he said.
Cammarota thanked his supporters.
“I look forward to working for them in the next 40 some days, and hopefully we can make something happen,” he said.
Doviak voiced some shock at coming in last among the candidates.
“I’m really surprised. I think a lot of people are surprised,” he said. “But the people have spoken.”
Doviak pointed out that Stout has been around the Cape for a long time.
“Clearly, she has a very strong base that sticks with her,” he said. “And Cammarota worked to get where he is.”
As far as the voter turnout, he described it as big for a municipal election.
“That’s still a big primary compared to most,” Doviak said.
He wished both of his opponents the best heading into November.
“It’s not about me, honestly. It’s never really been about me,” Doviak said. “When you’re on the other side of the dais, it’s a whole lot different – I hope the council continues their civility.”
The general election will be held on Nov. 3.