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Sanibel Island mayor and vice mayor win re-election

Empty room ready for voting booths for Election Day.
Vladimir Vladimirov
Getty Images
Voters on Sanibel Island and in the Village of Estero cast ballots Tuesday. The people voted on candidates for council in the two communities.

The mayor and vice mayor of hurricane-ravaged Sanibel Island easily won re-election to the city council  Tuesday.   Holly Smith and Richard Johnson each received about 40 percent of the votes in a four-person race.

Smith and Johnson now will serve four-year terms on the council.    Sanibel rules allow the council members to select two of their own to serve as mayor and vice mayor.     Mayor Smith appeared often on local and national media after Hurricane Ian caused massive damage on Sanibel.

Both Smith and Johnson ran on campaigns of continuing the recovery progress on the island. Both said they had developed strong working relationships with local, state and federal recovery officials. Both said they want to continue to use those relationships and knowledge of the process to benefit Sanibel.

Smith and Johnson won seats on the council, defeating Jude Sincoskie and Troy Thompson. Sincoskie received about 11 percent of the votes, while Thompson got about 10 percent.

In Estero Rafael "Ralph"  Lopez defeated Gary Israel for a council seat.     Lopez, a retired police officer,  won by a 57 to 43 percent margin.

The office of the Lee County Election Supervisor said turnout in Sanibel and Estero amounted to just over 19 percent of registered  voters.   

Mike Walcher is a visiting assistant professor in the FGCU Journalism Program, and also does some reporting at WGCU News. He can be reached at mwalcher@fgcu.edu

Forty-one-year veteran of television news in markets around the country, including more than 18 years as an anchor and reporter at WINK-TV in southwest Florida.