In addition to the presidential primary election on Tuesday, Southwest Florida residents in Naples, Bonita Springs, and the town of Fort Myers Beach also voted on a number of local races. The Naples city elections were an upset for incumbents.
Naples voters choose a new mayor and three new city councilors. Former Naples Councilwoman and former account executive in the private sector Teresa Heitmann, defeated incumbent mayor Bill Barnett. Heitmann’s priorities on the campaign trail included the pace of new development in the city and its impact on the environment as well as the city’s financial policies.
Since 1984, Barnett has served four terms as mayor and three terms as a city councilor. Heitmann was first elected to the city council in 2008 and was reelected in 2012. In 2016, she lost her bid for mayor against Barnett.
Naples City council candidates Mike McCabe, Ted Blankenship and Paul Perry won four-year terms on the city council, defeating incumbents Reg Buxton, Michelle McLeod and Ellen Seigel.
Meanwhile in Bonita Springs, city council candidates Jesse Purdon and Chris Corrie won 8-month terms after winning their elections. Purdon defeated opponents Shelley Anderson and Adam Hughes for the District 2 seat. Corrie defeated candidate Ben Hershenson in the District 4 race.
In Lee County, candidates Dan Allers, Jim Atterholt and Bill Veach won seats on the Fort Myers Beach town council, edging out incumbent town councilor Bruce Butcher and defeating opponents Forrest Crister, Robert Burandt and David Drumm.