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Election 2017 Question of the Week: What final message would you like voters in the primary election to take to the polls?

By Staff | Sep 29, 2017

Each week through the primary, The Breeze will ask the candidates for Cape Coral City Council an issue-related question. In the interest of fairness, each candidate is limited to the same amount of space, about 100 words, for their response. As you review the races, please note that Cape Coral City Council races are non-partisan, citywide elections. This means all registered voters can cast a ballot in each race, no matter party affiliation, no matter the district in which they live.

The 12th Question of the Week is: What final message would you like voters in the primary election to take to the polls?


– Joe Coviello: Exercise your right to vote and select candidates with a positive vision to move Cape Coral forward. I will work to reduce the tax burden on our residents. My service as Chairman of the City’s Budget Review Committee provides a unique understanding of how we can lower taxes and improve financial efficiency without compromising city services. I have been a Cape Coral resident for 17 years. Over that time we have experienced slow growth in our commercial tax base. By encouraging innovative Public Private Partnerships we can boost development. This will add revenue to our general fund and reduce taxes paid by our residents.

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– Derrick Donnell: It would be an honor to be elected as the next mayor of this safe, vibrant, and thriving city. From our growing economy, to our family friendly activities, we continue to be the jewel of Florida. Some of my proudest moments were shared as your twice elected city council representative. I have the experience, the passion, and the even-temperament needed to be an effective mayor. I will always be honest, respectful, and carry an open mind into every decision. I will listen carefully to all your concerns. I will work collaboratively and professionally with every city council member for a reasonable and equitable solution to every problem that we encounter.

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– Rana Erbrick: This City is poised to take the next step in greatness and growth and I want to ensure we get there. Previous elections have resulted in us placing inexperienced individuals as Mayor, with mixed results. I refuse to see our City go in any direction but up. I will provide this City with an experienced, knowledgeable, vetted, and passionate choice for Mayor. With 6 years on Council, I will hit the ground running from day one, offer a smooth transition of leadership, and use the relationships I have built to ensure we follow a path that leads us to a successful and sustainable future.

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– April Freeman: I would be honored to be elected as the next Mayor of Cape Coral. From a young age I’ve felt compelled to serve my community. Whether it was through activism, volunteering at school events, or for local organizations and charities that’s exactly what I’ve done. Running for Mayor feels right.

Cape Coral needs a Mayor who has the guts and experience to stand up for this city, and who will work tirelessly to implement policy that has a positive impact in our lives each and every day. I will serve with dignity and promise to make you proud.

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– Michael D. Hollow: First, it’s important for people to remember this is a city wide election. Even if your district seat isn’t up for election this year, you can still vote.

Second, get out and vote. Less than 20 percnt of Cape Coral voted in the last Mayoral election. Regardless who you’re supporting, it’s important that you vote.

One last thing, if you’re looking for more of the same, I’m not your candidate. It’s time to make Cape Coral a place we are all happy to call home.

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– Kevin Koch: I would like everyone to know that regardless of how you vote, we all want to improve our city and make it a better place to live for ourselves and our family. If you are satisfied with the progress Cape Coral has made in recent years, then I may not be the candidate for you. My goal will be to propel Cape Coral into the 21st century economically while ensuring that our kids and grandkids can be proud of the city they live in. No matter how you vote, please vote and make your voice heard!

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– Daniel James Sheppard III: Things to consider:

I have a history of speaking up for small business and citizens having issues with the city as well as bringing up topics at Council meeting that no one has the guts to talk about. I am passionate about are city and have respect for the dollars we pay in taxes. I have a history of putting myself out there for the betterment of the community. I have a home business, wife and six children. I can relate to most citizens in our city. Do the other candidates speak up at Council?. We need a leader that will admit our faults and work to fix them.



– Jim Burch (Incumbent): Mr. Burch has withdrawn from the race; he is no longer running.

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– James Frederick Foraker: I strongly urge everyone to get out and vote. Your vote has the most impact at the local level. Please make an informed decision of which candidate you think will represent all of the people. Elect a candidate that has and will serve everyone regardless of political affiliation or special interests. Cape Coral is facing a monumental task with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Chose a candidate that has shown a true community spirit and willingness to serve. As a Councilman you are a representative of the people. This means everyone. Passion for our city and its people are monumental.

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– John Gunter: I would first ask each registered voter in our city to actually vote for our future. As voters, we need to carefully look at each candidate, in each race, to determine exactly what that particular candidate will bring to the table. We need to evaluate exactly what that particular candidate has accomplished in their careers, and what they have given to their community. Also, we need to evaluate how much community involvement any candidate has given during their campaign.These factors should give us some sort of measurement of how a candidate will serve our community once elected. We need to vote for the candidate who will move our city forward in a positive direction.

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– Graham Madison Morris: Smoother roads. Safer streets. Smarter future. That has been my message from the beginning and it always will be. I have the necessary knowledge, relevant experience, and steadiness required to be an effective member of OUR City Council. My biggest goal now, in the past, and if I’m elected is to work in a way that makes every tomorrow in Cape Coral a little bit better than today. I am truthful, I am fair, ethical, wise beyond my years yet humble, and I am not afraid to stand against anyone that tries to get in the way of what is right and best for Cape Coral, her citizens, or my neighbors.



– Jeffrey Alan Jones: As we approach the primary election, I would like to remind everyone if you want your voice to make a difference, go vote. Do your due diligence and research each candidate (Facebook, Twitter, or word of mouth). Does your candidate have the experience, education, decades of public service, and a track record that they are proud of? Does the candidate stand for the same issues you do and if so, does that candidate offer solutions rather than ignoring or skating around the issue? Go vote, it’s your City.

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– Richard Leon (Incumbent): It has been truly remarkable to serve the past four years for the good people of Cape Coral. I have worked every day to represent you the best that I can in hopes that we can make a better world for us to live in. I am so proud to call Cape Coral my hometown. Words cannot express the love in my heart for our community. I wish to leave you with this quote that I have lived by for the past four years by Gordon Hinckley, “It is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others….”

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– Jennifer I. Nelson: Voting in local elections allows you a voice on issues that can have a profound effect on you and where you live. When voting for a candidate that has solutions to issues you agree with, you’ve given yourself an advocate accountable to you. Local elections can impact your quality of life as local officials are the people who determine if your city thrives or falls apart. My campaign is rooted in sustainability, always keeping the long game in mind. A fresh perspective, innovation, and proven results is what I will bring to Cape Coral. Exercising your right to vote is a very powerful thing. Use it!


DISTRICT 5 (General Election ballot only)

– James Schneider: Voting for your city mayor and council members is so important. As you see on the social media sites, there is much untruthful information spread about the certain candidates.

There has been a campaign to attack for the past several years. Public servants are not to be attacked if they are performing their job professionally and ethically.

So how does the voter who wants to be informed make their choices before voting? Review each candidate’s web page, engage them directly, and ask important questions.

Remember, your vote really does matter. If you don’t vote, you let others decide for you.

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– Dave Stokes: I would like to see voters do their due diligence and vote for candidates that they have researched and have been involved in the community for a long time prior to running for office. To vote for candidates that have volunteered, worked/owned a business and been involved in charities in Cape Coral for a good while. To give the message that you need to have been involved and know the community before trying to change it. Most importantly, please go vote!


DISTRICT 6 (General Election ballot only)

– John Karcher: Please vote! Please choose wisely.

Learn as much as you can about your choices. Review their post on FaceBook.

Read their answers to the last 10 weeks Breeze Questions of the week.

Do their answers reflect your thinking?

Re-read their palm cards; is that what you have seen in their actions?

How do they interact with others? Do they answer questions or ignore them?

Have they offered resolutions or suggestions for current issues?

Don’t allow less than 20 percent of the residents to decide who will govern you for the next four years.

Please make sure that your voice is heard.

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– Rick Williams (Incumbent): Facts, data, statistics, and national recognitions challenge perceptions of some candidates that Cape Coral is falling apart. The recession is behind us. We have reduced our tax rate three consecutive years and are moving forward rapidly.

I look for candidates who will continue our forward momentum. I look at their records-education, experience, and long-term civic involvement. I study their familiarity with current issues and their thought processes. Are their ideas progressive and realistic? Do finance reports reveal they spent money wisely, and with local merchants or out of town? I recall incumbents’ achievements, distractions, and collaborative spirit.

My vote will always be for the best qualified individuals with proven records of accomplishments, whose positive actions and opinions will move us forward.


Important dates

PRIMARY, Oct. 3, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes – Closed Aug. 14

* Early Voting (primary election) -Sept 28-30;

– Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

– Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

– GENERAL, Nov. 7, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes, Oct. 10

* Early Voting (general election), Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1-4

– Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

– Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

– Voter registration:

Applications are available online at www.leeelections.com, at all Lee County libraries, and other locations including Cape Coral City Hall at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce at 2051 Cape Coral Parkway, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and all Lee County Supervisor of Elections offices including the one in the Cape at 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3 A full list is available at www.leeelections.com.