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Early voting ends today; Election Day Nov. 3

Mayor’s race, three Cape Coral city council seats to be decided Tuesday

October 31, 2009
By Clinton Burton, cburton@breezenewspapers.com

Six days of early voting ends today for the Cape Coral municipal election.

On Tuesday, city voters will then determine the victors in four council races as they choose a mayor and representation in Districts 1, 4 and 6.

As Election Day looms, Cape Coral City Council and mayoral candidates have made their final preparations and have begun the weekend wait before voters decide their political fates.

Incumbent Mayor Jim Burch, a 58-year-old land surveyor, said this weekend will be no different than any other, with most of his time being devoted to preparing for Monday's City Council meeting.

His opponent, mayoral candidate John Sullivan, a 66-year-old retired broker/IT consultant, said he would spend the weekend in typical election year fashion.

"I'll be doing everything I can to prove my position," he said. "I'll be going out meeting with people, shaking hands and kissing babies."

The two were among a field of five in the primary in September, emerging as the top two vote getters with Sullivan leading the packed slate.

District 1 candidates Jim Martin and Marty McClain will spend their final days on the campaign trail in similar ways.

McClain, a 51-year-old construction consultant, said he would be "trying to get the troops together and get a game plan for Tuesday" over the weekend.

"Then we can sit back and relax for the first time in a long time," he said.

Martin took a similar view.

"It's wound down, everything is over," the 77-year-old a retired aerospace engineer, said. "It's been a blast."

There is no incumbent in District 1 and the two will face off for the first time in the general election Tuesday as they were the only candidates to qualify for the seat.

District 4 incumbent Dolores Bertolini, 75, said she will spend the final hours leading up to the election fielding phone calls from undecided voters.

"But I also have to do my homework for Monday's meeting," she said. "I still have a job to do."

Her opponent, Chris Chulakes-Leetz, a 53-year-old USCG-licensed captain, said he will spend the weekend being in the community "meeting and introducing myself to people."

The two will face-off for the first time Tuesday. Because only these two candidates qualified, there was no primary in District 4.

District 6 candidate John Cataldi, Jr. , 69-year-old retired police detective, said he will spend the lead-up days just preparing to go out to the polls.

"And I want to meet as many people as I can and thank everyone for their support," he said.

District 6 candidate Kevin McGrail, a 53-year-old medical technologist, is taking a more laid-back approach.

"I am going to be going to neighborhood party at Saratoga Lake," he said. "It's a 17-year tradition."

The two emerged as the top two vote-getters in a three-way race in the September primary, with McGrail emerging with the most votes.

There are two sites for early voting today: The Lee County Elections Main Office at 2480 Thompson St. in Fort Myers and the Cape Coral Branch Office at 1031 S.E. 9th Place, Suite 3. The offices will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today for the last of six "early voting" days.

On Tuesday, polls throughout the city will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Registered voters can cast a ballot in every race; Cape municipal elections are non-partisan and citywide, meaning all voters living in Cape Coral can vote in every race regardless of party affiliation or the district in which they live.

 
 
 

 

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