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Nelson wins District 4 seat

By Staff | Nov 7, 2017

Jennifer Nelson repeated her primary victory over incumbent Richard Leon Tuesday night, securing the District 4 seat in the General Election.

Nelson took 54.14 percent of the vote to Leon’s 45.86 percent for a 1,613 vote margin in a race that saw 19,041 ballots cast.

Nelson said she was thrilled to win and confident the new council will continue the positive momentum.

“I am very happy. I feel like we’re going to have a very cohesive team. All of us have relevant business experience that can be an asset to Cape Coral,” Nelson said during her victory celebration at Nevermind downtown. “I know we will all get along and be a team and I’m really excited.”

Nelson took the top spot in a three-way primary on Oct. 3 by just less than seven percentage points.

Despite those numbers, Nelson campaigned hard in the weeks up to the General.

“I looked at the metrics and it was hard to predict. In the past, incumbents usually come in lower in the primaries and end up winning. In this situation, I won,” Nelson said.

Leon was gracious in defeat.

“Congratulations to the winners. Keep moving the city forward and I wish them good luck,” Leon said. “It was a good run. We had a good campaign and I wish everyone luck.”

He ran his campaign on his record and has no regrets.

“I wouldn’t do a thing different,” he said when asked.

Nelson said she has some goals when she goes to the dais in two weeks.

“I want to put the golf course (land use issue) to rest,” she said. “I hope we can come up with a solution that benefits the city and the residents. I also want to make Coral Oaks more sustainable and help with the charter schools. Working in non-profits my entire career, I can be an asset to a system with a fundraising plan and make them self-sustaining.”

As for Leon, he plans for some relaxation time following four years on Council while continuing to work full time.

“Camping,” he said when asked about his “what’s next.”