homepage logo

Multiple races, constitutional amendments on ballot

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Oct 13, 2020

With early voting for the Nov. 3 General Election taking place from Oct. 19-31 in Lee County, islanders will find a number of races on their ballot, along with several constitutional amendments.

On the county level, Republican Kevin Ruane is running for the Lee County Board of County Commissioners District 1 seat, which write-in candidate Kelsey Hotchkiss also qualified for. In the District 3 race, incumbent Republican Ray Sandelli is going up against Democrat Todd Truax, and incumbent Republican Frank Mann faces Democrat Rev. Juan Gonzalez for the District 5 seat.

For the submitted “Candidate Bios and Questionnaires,” visit www.capecoralbreeze.com/news/local-news/2020/07/22/meet-the-candidates-for-county-commission.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno is aiming to retain his position against three challengers — Democrat Robert M. Neeld and NPA candidates Carmen McKinney and Michael “Coach Ray” Qualls.

For the submitted “Candidate Bios and Questionnaires,” visit www.capecoralbreeze.com/news/local-news/2020/07/01/lee-county-sheriff-races-republican-primary-and-general-election-candidates.

In addition, Republican Matt Caldwell is seeking to be elected as the next Lee County property appraiser, while write-in candidate Elaina Cosentino has also qualified to run for the seat.

For the submitted “Candidate Bios and Questionnaires,” visit www.captivasanibel.com/2020/07/31/property-appraiser-race-features-republican-primary.

At the state level, Republican Ray Rodrigues is facing off against Democrat Rachel Brown for the District 27 seat within the Florida Senate. In the House of Representatives, Republican Adam Botana is aiming to win the seat for District 76 — now held by Rodrigues — over Democrat Anselm Weber.

For the submitted “Candidate Bios and Questionnaires,” visit www.captivasanibel.com/2020/08/11/state-senate-district-27-seat-to-feature-republican-primary and www.captivasanibel.com/2020/08/11/state-race-for-district-76-seat-to-feature-republican-primary.

On the federal level, the race for the U.S. House of Representatives District 19 position features Republican Byron Donalds, Democrat Cindy Lyn Banyai and write-in candidate Patrick Post.

For the submitted “Candidate Bios and Questionnaires,” visit www.captivasanibel.com/2020/08/11/u-s-house-district-19-race-features-primaries-for-both-parties.

Islanders will also cast a ballot in the following non-partisan races:


– District 1: Incumbent Ed Brantley, Melissa Dortch and Taruas Anthony Pugh

– District 3: Incumbent Mike Ellis and Jim O’Connell

– District 5: Williams Patrick Burke and incumbent George “Pat” T. Mann Jr.


Voters can select up to two candidates.

– Seat 1: Incumbent Steve Brown, Therese Everly and Carol Ann Turiello

– Seat 3: Sandy Cohen, incumbent David Collins, David H. Klein and Carol Anne Morris

– Seat 5: Kathy Bridge-Liles, incumbent Jessica Carter Peer and Stephanie Lucinda Meyer

In addition, the following constitutional amendments will be up for a vote:

– No. 1 — Citizenship Requirement to Vote in Florida Elections

This amendment provides that only United States Citizens who are at least 18 years of age, a permanent resident of Florida, and registered to vote, as provided by law, shall be qualified to vote in a Florida election.

– No. 2 — Raising Florida’s Minimum Wage

Raises minimum wage to $10 per hour effective Sept. 30, 2021. Each Sept. 30 thereafter, minimum wage shall increase by $1 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour on Sept. 30, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases shall revert to being adjusted annually for inflation starting Sept. 30, 2027.

– No. 3 — All Voters Vote in Primary Elections for State Legislature, Governor, and Cabinet

Allows all registered voters to vote in primaries for state legislature, governor, and cabinet regardless of political party affiliation. All candidates for an office, including party nominated candidates, appear on the same primary ballot. Two highest vote getters advance to general election. If only two candidates qualify, no primary is held and winner is determined in general election. Candidate’s party affiliation may appear on ballot as provided by law. Effective Jan. 1, 2024.

– No. 4 — Voter Approval of Constitutional Amendments

Requires all proposed amendments or revisions to the state constitution to be approved by the voters in two elections, instead of one, in order to take effect. The proposal applies the current thresholds for passage to each of the two elections.

– No. 5 — Limitations on Homestead Assessments

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution, effective date Jan. 1, 2021, to increase, from two years to three years, the period of time during which accrued Save-Our-Homes benefits may be transferred from a prior homestead to a new homestead.

– No. 6 — Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities

Provides that the homestead property tax discount for certain veterans with permanent combat-related disabilities carries over to such veteran’s surviving spouse who holds legal or beneficial title to, and who permanently resides on, the homestead property, until he or she remarries or sells or otherwise disposes of the property. The discount may be transferred to a new homestead property of the surviving spouse under certain conditions. The amendment takes effect Jan. 1, 2021.



Early voting for the Nov. 3 General Election will take place Oct. 19-31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 11 locations throughout Lee County. Eligible voters may vote early at any of the following sites:

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

– Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Center, 2990 Edison Ave., Fort Myers

– East County Regional Library, 881 Gunnery Road N. Lehigh Acres

– Estero Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd., Estero

– Lee County Elections Bonita Springs Branch Office, 25987 S. Tamiami Trail, Unit 105, Bonita Springs

– Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1039 S.E. 9th Ave., Cape Coral

– Lee County Elections Center, 13180 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers

– North Fort Myers Recreation Center, 2000 N. Recreation Park Way, North Fort Myers

– Northwest Regional Library, 519 Chiquita Blvd. N., Cape Coral

– Riverside Community Center, 3061 E. Riverside Drive, Fort Myers

– Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 Homestead Road S., Lehigh Acres

Source: Lee County Elections Office