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Fields for fire board, county commissioner, Sheriff finalized

June 24, 2020
Nathan Mayberg ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Town of Fort Myers Beach voters will have three choices for one of three seats on the fire commission, as well as choices to choose from for Lee County Board of County Commissioners and Lee County Sheriff races following the end of the qualifying period June 19.

The races for sheriff and county commissioner will each have Republican primaries on Aug. 18.

For the Fort Myers Beach Board of Fire Commissioners seat left vacant by Bob Raymond, the three candidates are Keran Farrell, Jim Knickle and Bob Raymond's son Bryan Raymond.

Fort Myers Beach Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman Larry Wood, who is unopposed for re-election, said the commissioners will be meeting with all of the applicants today at the board's meeting with an expectation that they will vote for Raymond's replacement on the board through the November election. The three candidates running for the seat have all put in applications with the board to serve out the term through this year.

Commissioner Ronald Fleming is also running unopposed.

County Commissioner Ray Sandelli, who was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to fill the seat of the late Commissioner Larry Kiker, has three challengers for his district, which includes Fort Myers Beach. Qualifying to challenge the Bonita Springs resident in District 3 is former Village of Estero trustee Nicholas Batos, Florida Gulf Coast University student and write-in candidate Molly Hannigan and Bonita Springs resident Todd Truax, a Democrat who has previously run unsuccessfully in a primary for Congress. Batos and Sandelli are both Republicans and will face each other in a primary on Aug. 18.

In other races, four challengers have lined up against Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who also was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. There will be a Republican primary on Aug. 18 between Marceno and James Leavens, who retired from the Lee County Sheriff's Office in 2018, with the winner advancing to the General Election. Democrat Robert Neeld, who has previously run unsuccessfully for Congress, has qualified as have retired law enforcement officer Coach Ray and retired Lee County Sheriff's Office Major Carmen McKinney, both of whom are running with no party affiliation.

Lee County Commissioner John Manning is not seeking re-election. There are two Republican candidates - Michael Dreikorn and Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane - heading to a primary for the District 1 race. Florida Gulf Coast University student Kelsey Hotchkiss is qualified as a write-in candidate for the General Election ballot.

In the District 5 race, Commissioner Frank Mann is being challenged by fellow Republican Steven Haas, Democrat Juan Gonzalez and Florida Gulf Coast University student write-in Kayley McHugh. Mann and Haas will face off in the primary with the winner advancing to the General Election.



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