Sanibel mayor joins race for county commission seat
Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane is running for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.
On Feb. 21, he filed paperwork with the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office as a Republican candidate for the District 1 seat in the November 2020 election. He will first face off against fellow party candidates in the August 2020 primary and must win the nomination to advance to the general.
Only one other candidate, Republican Michael J. Dreikorn, of Bokeelia, has filed paperwork.
The District 1 seat is currently held by retiring Commissioner John Manning. The district covers Sanibel and Captiva, plus Boca Grande, Pine Island and approximately half of Cape Coral.
“I’d like to be one of the people to help shape and mold Lee County for it to be everything it can be,” Ruane said, noting that he brings valuable skills and an accomplished track record to the table.
With 12 years of government and public service under his belt, Ruane pointed to the improvements in the city of Sanibel’s finances – pensions, debt and reserves – that he had a hand in. He credited his business and accounting background, including being CFO for a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company.
“I’ve run many businesses,” Ruane said, adding that he is a business owner.
He noted the knowledge he has acquired on the issue of water quality and his familiarity with it in recent years, adding that he has established relationships on the local, state and national levels.
“Having relationships and long-standing relationships is key,” Ruane said.
“I want to continue to broaden the coalition at the county level,” he added.
As far as priorities, Ruane cited concentrating on finances and a balanced budget as No. 1.
“Everything you look at stems from finances,” he said, noting that that it where funds for capital improvement projects and such come from. “I think the county is in a very, very good financial state.”
But, hailing from a family of accountants, Ruane said he can offer a different perspective.
“We just look at things a little differently,” he said. “You can always do creative money management.”
“I think these different parts of my skill sets are important,” Ruane added.
As for running, it is another way for him to give back to his home and community.
“It’s for our future,” Ruane said.
His term on the Sanibel City Council is set to expire in March 2021.
If elected, Ruane would resign from his seat a few months early.
On Feb. 27, he announced his candidacy on Facebook with the following statement:
“I am honored to announce my candidacy for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners. I ask that you stand with me and embark on this journey to make our county a better place for generations to come.
“I am running to bring my business experience and unique perspective to the County Commission to help our community expand on its successes and achieve long-term prosperity. In my time as mayor of Sanibel, I have seen firsthand how conservative principles and sound fiscal policy can affect the economy. My goal is to bring forth the policies that will allow the families and businesses of our community to achieve a brighter future.
“I am also dedicated to continuing my fight to restore and protect our water quality. These issues are no longer up for debate. Our economy and quality of life depend on our ability to end this crisis once and for all. Over the past several years, I have worked directly with our local, state and federal governments to implement policies, which will not only bring immediate impact towards resolving these issues, but also provide long-term solutions. As your County Commissioner, you can count on me to continue to be a champion for clean water and Everglades restoration.
“I believe in the future of Lee County and know we can make tremendous strides towards ensuring that our future is brimming with opportunity and success.
“Thank you for your support!”
Ruane will kick off his campaign with a fundraising reception on March 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village in Cape Coral.
For more information, visit votekevinruane.com or www.facebook.com/Kevin-Ruane-841825669186798.