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Candidates begin qualifying for city races

By Staff | Jul 5, 2017


Additional candidates with a July 3 qualifying date (list as updated 2:30 p.m. July 5.): Mayor’s race: Joe Coviello and Derrick Donnell. District 1: John Gunter.

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Candidates for Cape Coral City Council begin filing qualifying paperwork Monday, a formal step required to appear on the municipal election ballot.

The candidates who qualified Monday, the first day of the week-long process, are Dave Stokes, running for District 5; Rick Williams, incumbent, and John Karcher, challenger, in District 6; and retiree James Foraker challenger for the District 1 seat.

On June 23, Stokes, a Charlotte County firefighter/paramedic, was the first candidate to announce his run for District 5, the seat being vacated by incumbent Rana Erbrick, whose resignation goes into effect on Sept. 7 so she can make a run for mayor.

First elected in 2013, Williams is seeking a second term on council representing his district. Karcher, a retired pet supplies business executive and former board member for Northwest Neighborhood Association, is seeking his first public office by challenging Williams.

The paperwork to qualify for the ballot includes providing a financial disclosure form and presenting a valid voter registration card. The total fee to run for a council seat is $426, which includes a filing fee of $100 plus the Election Assessment fee of 1 percent of the annual salary of $32,600 ($326). The total fee to run for mayor is $516, including a $150 filing fee plus the 1 percent assessment fee of the mayor’s salary of $36,600 ($366).

It’s a crowded race for mayor with seven candidates, the most in any of the five races. Three candidates who previously announced they were running for office have withdrawn, leaving 18 candidates overall.

The primary election is Sept. 12. The general election is Nov. 7. Early voting dates for the primary are Sept. 5-9 and from Oct. 30 to Nov. 4 for the general.

Cape Coral municipal elections are non-partisan, citywide elections, meaning all registered voters may cast a ballot in all races regardless of party affiliation and the district in which the voter resides.

All candidates must be continuous, full-time residents of the city for the entire calendar year preceding their qualification for office and must also reside in their respective districts. Full terms are for four years.

As of Monday, announced candidates for Cape Coral City Council include:



Joe Coviello

Derrick L. Donnell

Rana M. Erbrick

April J. Freeman

Michael Hollow

Kevin Koch

Daniel J. Sheppard III

Mayor Marni Sawicki has said she will not run for a second term.

District 1


Jim Burch (incumbent)

James Foraker (qualified)

John Gunter

Graham Madison Morris

District 4


Jeffrey Jones

Richard Leon (incumbent)

Jennifer Nelson

District 5


James D. Schneider

David A. Stokes (qualified)

District 6


John Karcher (qualified)

Rick Williams (incumbent, qualified)