Chulakes-Leetz beats out Bertolini for District 4 seat
Chris N. Chulakes-Leetz won the Cape Coral City Council District 4 seat held by Dolores Bertolini by a 10 percent margin.
Chulakes-Leetz received 9,282 votes or 55 percent, and Bertolini, who was elected in 2005, picked up the remaining 7,565 votes or 45 percent in Tuesday’s general election.
“I’m very grateful to the people of Cape Coral for their endorsement,” he said. “I promise to the people of Cape Coral that they will have an honest and ethical councilman.”
Chulakes-Leetz said the reason he won the office over Bertolini was because he demanded answers to many of the questions asked by citizens.
After being sworn in at the next council meeting, Chulakes-Leetz wants to put forward a motion that would make the council schedule full time – one council meeting and two workshops per week.
“This is to improve communication, not only between council, but also I’d like to have a new starting time (for meetings) from 6-10 p.m.,” he said. “That will reduce the physical and mental exhaustion of residents and the council.”
Bertolini said she is disappointed with her loss because there is work she wanted to finish.
“Thank you to all of the people who supported me, all of the people who helped me the last four and a half years,” she said. “I am not done working for the city.”
Bertolini plans on working for a number of local charities, including one for Alzheimer’s and the American Cancer Society.
“I have so many things on my plate that I will still be contributing to the city, but in a different venue,” she said.
Bertolini hopes the new council continues with the economic projects on the table, including the new aquatics center.
“My life doesn’t stop because I lost an election. It is the people’s choice and I respect their choice,” she said.
Voter turnout in Cape Coral and Fort Myers was light, about 18 percent overall.
Cape Coral resident Earl Tate said Tuesday that he voted to keep some of the former leadership in power.
“I believe in the leadership in place right now, with all the difficulty they’ve had to face. I’m pleased with what they are doing,” he said.
Bennet Rosenberger, another resident of the city, said he voted to support some council candidates.
“Just people I know who are running for the city council,” he said.
Election results are unofficial until certified by the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office.