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Harrington, Doyle advance in Supervisor of Elections primary

By Staff | Aug 30, 2016

With five candidates in the non-partisan primary for Supervisor of Elections, the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s balloting advance to general election runoff in November.

Those two candidates are incumbent Sharon Harrington and challenger Tommy Doyle. The heavily criticized Harrington garnered the most primary votes, tallying 43.08 percent to Doyle’s 33.44 percent. Actual vote figures are 46,881 for Harrington and 36,391 for Doyle. A total of 108,833 votes were cast for the supervisor candidates.

Dan Sinclair was third in the race with 10.15 percent (11,042 votes), Carmen Salome of Cape Coral with 8.16 percent (8,884) and James Hefren got the fewest votes at 5.18 percent (5,635).

“I’m very pleased with the results and hope it can continue through November,” said Harrington. “I’ve said it takes someone with experience in this job to do the job. Someone coming in from outside would take them a long time to catch up.”

Harrington has held the office of Supervisor of Elections in Lee County since January 2004 when she was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former supervisor Philinda Young. She was first elected in 2004 and reelected in 2008 and 2012 and is seeking her fourth full term in office.

“I tried to set the record straight on a lot of what was going around that was not the right stuff,” Harrington said. “I tried to set the record straight on the things that have been plaguing us in the past.”

She said she will have to do some heavy campaigning for the November election against Doyle.

“With just under 25 percent of registered voters casting ballots I think that’s low,” Harrington said. “We sent out over 140,000 mail-in ballots and 11,000 of those came back as undeliverable to addresses that people requested them to be sent.”

Doyle, 64, is a Fort Myers native and third generation owner of Flint & Doyle Structural Moving. He said he is running against Harrington because he was disappointed with what he says is the bad reputation that Lee County has received in recent elections.

Doyle could not be reached for comment.

Sinclair finished a distant third and is disappointed that his campaign message got lost on the public.

The real estate broker and president of a financial company ran on his record of starting and running successful businesses for the past 31 years. He also wanted to improve the voter experience and bring better accuracy, integrity and accountability to the office.