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Noelle Branning announces candidacy for Lee County Tax Collector

By Staff | May 5, 2020

Noelle Branning, chief deputy tax collector, has announced she has filed to run to replace Larry Hart, who is retiring as Lee County Tax Collector, a position he has held since 2012.

Branning earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University in 1998 and her juris doctorate from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2004, according to the bio provided with her announcement Tuesday. “She previously worked with the State Attorney’s Office of the 20th Judicial Circuit before focusing her legal career on handling criminal defense and family law matters. Branning joined the Lee County Tax Collector as General Counsel in 2013 and was appointed as Chief Deputy Tax Collector in 2018,” the release states.

“It is with much excitement that I announce my candidacy for Lee County Tax Collector,” Branning said in her announcement release issued Tuesday. “I will ensure the office remains a good steward of your hard-earned tax dollars, while seeking opportunities to provide additional services to help streamline your interaction with government.”

Branning said she has received the endorsement of Hart, who stated, “Noelle is my Chief Deputy and I am confident that under her leadership the agency will continue to move forward. With her experience, she is the right person at the right time to succeed me. Noelle has the ability and skillset to continue the great work the Lee County Tax Collector’s office is doing for our community. She is well qualified, and I am pleased to support her.”

Of Hart’s support Branning said, “I am grateful for the seven years I’ve had with Larry as a leader and mentor. Larry is a visionary and community focused leader committed to providing exceptional customer service. I have learned so much from him both personally and professionally and I will miss working with him.”

Branning’s plan, if elected, “is to continue to utilize innovation and technology to streamline the services of the Tax Collector’s office to more conveniently and efficiently serve the growing needs of Lee County taxpayers, while enhancing cyber security to protect personal and sensitive information,” the release states.

Branning has received Leadership certifications from the Florida Tax Collectors Association and the Florida Sterling Council. She currently serves on the board for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida. She also participates on a United Way Allocations Team and has been a team member for the last 6 years.

She and her husband, Robert, reside in North Fort Myers where they are raising their two children Lachlan, 9, and Connor, 7. In their spare time they enjoy spending family time outdoors.