Three Seats on Council Ballot


Six Potential Candidates

On March 17, Fort Myers Beach voters will vote to fill three Town Council seats. Mayor Anita Cereceda is reaching the end of her second term and is term-limited out of office in March. Joanne Shamp and Bruce Butcher both declined to run for a second term. When all the votes are tallied, the top three candidates will join Ray Murphy and Rexann Hosafros on Town Council. Murphy and Hosafros are eligible for re-election in 2022.

As qualification week approaches in early January, six Island residents have opened a campaign file with Town Clerk Michelle Mayher and set up a campaign account with an appointed treasurer as of December 18, 2019. Only two of them have had the proper number of petitions certified to avoid paying the $504 filing fee. In order to become a qualified candidate and have their name on the ballot in the March 17, 2020 election, candidates must pay a $672 Qualifying Fee. If they successfully submitted 49 verified petitions, by December 9, then $504 of that is waived. The $168 election assessment fee is paid by all candidates except those who certify under oath that they are unable to afford the fee.

James Atterholt and Forrest “Butch” Critser have both submitted sufficient verified petition signatures. Dan Allers and David Drumm also submitted signatures by the deadline, but due to errors on their submitted forms, did not have their petitions verified by the Lee County Elections Office, as is required by state law.

An additional two candidates, Robert Burandt and Carol Ann Whitefield, have begun the candidate process by designating a campaign treasurer and setting up a campaign account, as well as opening a candidate file with Mayher at Town Hall. None of the six are as yet qualified to be on the ballot.

The Pre-qualifying Period begins Monday, December 23, with qualifying week running from noon Monday, January 6 to noon Friday, January 10. By close of qualifying week, candidates must have all required forms and payments submitted. Only then are they considered qualified candidates. Complete details on forms, requirements and deadlines are available on the Town Clerk’s page under Departments at or via this link:

A candidate for Town Council must be a registered voter and have lived within the town for at least one year prior to qualifying for election.

A candidate for Town Council must be a registered voter and a resident of the town for at least one year prior to qualifying for election.


To vote in Fort Myers Beach elections on March 17, 2020, voters must be registered with the Lee County Elections Office by Tuesday, February 18, 2020. For more information, see

To request a Vote-by-Mail ballot, call the Lee Elections office at 239-533-8683, visit or email The U.S. Postal Service will not forward vote-by-mail ballots. If you wish your ballot to go to an address other than your voter record mailing address, you must request it in writing. If planning to vote by mail, update your signature on your voter record to ensure that your vote is counted. To update your signature or request your ballot be mailed to a new address, call the Lee Elections office for instructions, 239-LEE-VOTE.