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Primary County Commission and City Council races to watch in SWFL

Update 10:59 pm
In the Cape Coral City Council’s District Four race, incumbent Jennifer Nelson and challenger Patty Cummings will continue to the General Election.

In the Cape Coral City Council District One race, newcomers Bill Steinke and Carol Rae Culliton will advance to the November election.

Cape Coral voters will also be choosing a City Council District Six representative and deciding a mayoral race in the general election.

In the race for the Fort Myers City Council Ward Three seat, incumbent Terolyn Watson will face challenger Chantel Rhodes in November.
Updated 10 pm
Mike Greenwell has won the Republican primary for the Lee County Commission District Five seat. He'll face Democrat Matt Wood and an write-in candidate in the general election to finish out out the two years left in Frank Mann's term. The seat became vacant when Mann passed away in June. In July Governor Ron DeSantis appointed Greenwell to serve in the position until November 15th.

Updated 8:45 pm
In Collier's District Two Commission race, Chris Hall has won the GOP primary. He faces Democrat Bebe Kanter in November.

In Collier's Commission District Four Republican primary, Daniel Kowal has defeated three challengers, including incumbent Penny Taylor, to advance to the general election, where he's likely to defeat write in candidate Bill Oppenheimer.

Updated 8:09 pm
With nearly all precincts reporting, Lindsay Scott Garza has won the race for Lee County Judge against incumbent Judge Archie Hayward.

Southwest Florida voters in the Aug. 23 primary election will cast ballots in a number of county and municipal elections that will shape the makeup of local governments going forward.

In Lee County, there’s a GOP primary in the race to fill the remaining term for the District Five Commission seat left vacant after the death of Frank Mann. Candidates include John Albion, Joseph Gambino, and Mike Greenwell.

Also in Lee County, primary voters will decide a nonpartisan contest for Lee County Judge between incumbent Archie B. Hayward, who is the only court’s only remaining Black judge, and Lindsay Scott Garza, who is the daughter of former Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott.

There’s a Fort Myers Ward Three City Council race with incumbent Terolyn Watson facing three challengers: Chantel Rhodes, Dorian Scudder, and Carlbert White. Watson works for the Lee School District’s bus transportation department, Rhodes has a background as a social worker and currently works for Golisano Children’s Hospital, Scudder has a background in information technology and White’s background is in small business and economic development. Any candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast in the primary will win the race. Otherwise, the top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

In Cape Coral, voters will narrow down the list of candidates to the top two vote getters in two city council races. The District One race includes four newcomers including Carol Rae Culliton, Jean Pierre Etcheverry, Jr., Bill Steinke, and Ally Wharton.

The Cape Coral City Council District Four race has incumbent Jennifer Nelson facing challengers Joshua Clark and Patty Cummings.

Primary voters in Cape Coral will also decide two city charter amendments. One would amend the city charter to require a special election to fill an open city council seat between 90 and 120 days of the seat’s vacancy. The other Cape Coral referendum would allow the City Clerk to make local ordinances and resolutions accessible to the public in electronic form.

In Collier County, Republican voters will select their nominee in two county commission races. The District Two contest includes four Republicans: Reg Buxton, Chris Hall, Gerald Lefebvre, and Nancy Lewis. Incumbent Andy Solis is not seeking re-election. The winner will face Democrat Bebe Kanter who faces no primary challenger.

The contest for the Collier Commission District Four seat also sets up a four-way GOP primary with incumbent Penny Taylor facing three challengers including Daija Hinojosa, Daniel Kowal, and Michelle McLeod. The winner will face write-in candidate Bill Oppenheimer.

In Collier County, primary voters will also decide on an amendment seeking expansion of the county’s mosquito control district and allowing the district to tax newly served areas.

Primary voters in Naples will also decide the fate of a charter amendment that would allow the city manager to live in Collier County, without a restriction on the city manager having to live within city limits.

Voters in Marco Island also face two ballot referenda in the primary, including a proposal to make owners of short-term rental properties responsible for the behavior of their tenants. The other is a bond referendum to levy a special tax for beach improvements on property owners in the Hideaway Beach District.

Once polls close at 7 p.m., tune into WGCU 90.1 FM/WMKO 91.7 FM for real-time election results throughout the night.

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