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Clerk of Courts & Comptroller primary candidate bios and platforms

By Staff | Jul 21, 2022

Kevin Karnes

The Universal Primary for the Clerk of Court & Comptroller sees two Cape Coral residents facing off, as incumbent Kevin Karnes and Liza King are candidates.

Both are Republicans but all voters have it on their ballots and may vote regardless of party affiliation as there are no other candidates.

Each provided some personal information as well as an at-a-glance look at their respective campaign:

Candidate name:    Kevin Karnes


Liza King

Seat sought: Lee County Clerk of Court and Comptroller


Age:  34


Website:  www.votekevinkarnes.com




Florida Gulf Coast University – Bachelor in Legal Studies 

American Public University – Masters in Legal Studies

Florida Status University – Certified Public Manager Program 


Occupation and place of employment:   Lee County Clerk of Court and Comptroller – 15 years 



Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency:  16 years. 



Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking.


As the current Clerk and Comptroller, I oversee a team of 339 professionals, supporting 6 different departments.  The office budget is $39 million dollars (including revenue) both state and county.  I am also responsible for managing the county’s 2 billion dollar portfolio.


Political Experience/offices held: I am a first-time candidate seeking public office. However, I’ve been an active member of many Republican clubs throughout the county for 15 years. Most recently, I served as the President of the Southwest Florida Young Republicans and served as Vice-Chair of the Florida Federation of Young Republicans.  


Civic/Community involvement:


Board of Director for United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades

20th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee Member

Former Guardian Ad Litem  

Member of the Cape Coral Rotary Club


Family:  My parents Gordon and Cindy Register reside in North Florida.  I have a twin brother (fraternal), a little brother, and two sisters. I have eight nieces and nephews. I am single, have no kids, and enjoy spending time with my one golden-doodle puppy named Rosco. 


Military Experience: None 

Why are you running? I am running to be Clerk and Comptroller because I have the knowledge, experience, and passion to protect your tax payer dollars, hold our local government accountable, and provide quality services.  I am a lifelong conservative, have been with the office for 15 years, held every leadership position within the office, and was appointed by Governor DeSantis. I am currently doing the job and can continue serving in this capacity without any disruption or learning curve. 


Planks of your platform/ Top three issues:


Keeping operations efficient as our county continues to grow as a rapid pace.  I want to streamline services to save money and ensure all clerk-services are available online. 


Create a property fraud task force to prevent criminals from stealing your home.  I plan to collaborate with property experts and lawyers to propose legislation which fights against the growing trend of property fraud. 


Focus on cybersecurity programs to keep your records safe and secure. Cybercrime is another growing trend throughout the world and I will protect your sensitive information and documents. 


Candidate name: Liza King


Seat sought: Clerk of the Circuit Court


Age: 47


Website: www.votelizakingforclerk.com



North Fort Myers High School

Florida Gulf Coast University, Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology

Certified Court Manager, National Center for State Courts


Occupation and place of employment:

Chief Deputy Court Administrator, State Courts System


Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency: 47 years


Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking:


State Courts System-Direct Supervision, Management and Executive management experience-approximately 400 employees. Expertise in: Employee relations; Team building and development; Creating sustainable systems to enhance the organization’s operations; Promoting public safety;  and fiscal accountability. As well as enhancing customer service and responsibly utilizing technology solutions; clearly defining core essential functions for the organization and defining goals and priorities to face the ever growing population in Lee County.


State Courts System-Budget/Fiscal/Accounting experience-responsible for overseeing both state and county budgets 30+million; overseeing both fiscal and accounting operations.


State Court System-Investigations experience-both as an investigative officer and overseeing both Pretrial Services and Probation officers.


State Court System-Oversee technology department to ensure that effective technology solutions are deployed and that cybersecurity remains a constant priority and at the forefront of the organization.


Political Experience/offices held: N/A


Civic/Community involvement:


Bridge for Hope of SWFL-VP, assisting the homeless population in Lee County

Community Cooperative-actively engaged in the mission of the organization

United Way-member of fund distribution team

Step of Faith Ministries-active and involved member




Son-Jordan, 26 years old

Daughter, Alyssa, 18 years old


Military Experience: N/A

Why are you running?  To utilize my knowledge, skills and abilities to benefit the citizens of Lee County. My only agenda is to serve YOU!


Planks of your platform. I am a Lee County native who has chosen to raise both of my amazing children, Jordan and Alyssa, right here in Lee County. I have experience both inside and outside of the Clerk’s Office. I possess a comprehensive understanding of our community, the Clerk’s Office and, most importantly, of leading an organization. I have 29 years of experience in the Criminal Justice System with 19 years in a leadership capacity. I am a trusted leader, with the experience that matters to you. I will effectively promote public safety and cut costs.



Top three issues. Improve customer service-you should have timely access whether contacting the office in person, via the telephone or on-line; Responsible implementation of technology-ensure that the technology is user friendly and meeting the intended need; Fiscal efficiency-discontinue wasteful spending.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated and corrected to reflect that this is a Universal Primary.