Carioscia earns another term
The margin was a little tighter than expected, but John Carioscia easily overcame the recent trend of incumbent losses by earning a second term as District 2 city councilman with his victory over Kirk LaGrasta.
Carioscia collected 50.59 percent of the vote to 43.94 percent for LaGrasta to become the first incumbent to win since Derrick Donnell won a second term in District 7 in 2011.
Carioscia, who spent much of his first term trying to get Cape Coral’s financial house in order following the recession, said he could now work on moving the city forward.
“We’re excited that the heavy lifting is over with the financial aspects of the city; now we can move on with the projects,” Carioscia said at his victory celebration at Duffy’s. “The projects are what the citizens actually see.”
Carioscia’s first term was a challenge. He survived decisions that were not popular, including the approval of two new taxes – a public service tax on electric bills and the fire service assessment, offset somewhat with a reduction in the property tax rate – and the restart of the utility expansion project.
If he had to do it again, Carioscia said he would in a minute.
“I would 100 percent. That’s why I ran for a second term – to finish the job,” Carioscia said.
Carioscia said his second term will be devoted to paving roads in the north and south Cape; continuing the UEP in the north, which he said is the foundation to economic development; putting lights down the median of Cape Coral Parkway; and better landscaping those medians.
But perhaps most important is public safety.
“Public safety is synonymous with a growing city. First responders will always be near and dear to my heart,” said Carioscia, a retired law enforcement professional.
LaGrasta, who finished second in the four-way District 2 primary in September, battled to a respectable showing on a platform of fiscal responsibility.
While disappointed, LaGrasta was gracious in defeat, saying he would support Carioscia in moving the Cape forward.
“I want to wish John Carioscia the best. I hope he listens to the citizens and votes according to their needs and wants,” LaGrasta said. “I think everyone knew what I was talking about and they know my points and listened to them.”