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City candidate qualifications end Friday

By Staff | Jun 9, 2020

Of the 10 candidates who have announced their intention to run for Cape Coral City Council, half have successfully qualified.

All three candidates in District 3, Christopher Cammarota, Thomas Hayden and Joseph Kilrane, have turned in their required paperwork, while two candidates in District 7, incumbent Jessica Cosden and her predecessor, Derrick Donnell, have also qualified.

Qualifying for City Council candidates in Districts 2, 3, 5, and 7 began Monday at noon and will expire Friday at noon in the City Clerk’s Office at City Hall, 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.

Prospective candidates can qualify Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday hours are from 7:30 a.m. until noon promptly. Candidates can call for an appointment at 239-574-0417 as the City Hall lobby remains closed due to the pandemic.

Pre-qualification, which was held for those who may not have been able to qualify during regular qualifications, was held for two weeks before qualification began.

All candidates for council must be continuous full-time residents of the city for the entire calendar year preceding their qualification for office. Although elected at large, candidates must reside in their respective districts. The filing fee for council member is $100 plus the Election Assessment fee, 1 percent of the annual salary of $34,834 — in this case $348.34 — for a total of $448.34.

The terms of office for the council seats are for four years. All terms begin the first regular council meeting held after the date of the election in November.

Candidates can pay the required fees and complete all necessary paperwork in the City Clerk’s office during the qualifying period outlined above. Voting is city-wide for all candidates and is non-partisan.

A primary is held if there are more than two candidates running for a seat. If there are just two candidates in a district, they go straight to the General Election in November. If there is only one candidate, he/she automatically gets elected.

Those who do qualify will have to get their feet on the floor quickly. The first council candidate forum will be held at the Southwest Florida Military Museum Wednesday, June 24, at 6 p.m.

Attendance will be limited to 140 people, or 50 percent capacity, for the forum, though that could change if the governor lifts the restrictions for museums.