Imagine, if you will, our shock to learn that the names of county commission candidates without an opponent do not even appear on the ballot — and that a blank line allowing voters to write in another name requires individuals to qualify as write-in candidates with the Supervisor of Elections. We do not know if this is unique to our county, but the reality in Lee County was that the two incumbent county commissioners running for reelection would win by acclamation without even a single vote being cast in their favor.
Luckily for all of us, two citizens stepped up to run – Karen Watson in District 2 against incumbent Cecil Pendergrass and Jim Sheets in District 4 against incumbent Brian Hamman. Neither of these write-in candidates represents a political party — or are politicians for that matter. But both know that it is important for them to reflect the needs and concerns of the people of Lee County and that they will do so should they be elected to our County Commission.
Both are running because they care deeply for our community and because they strongly believe that you cannot have Democracy if candidates are going to walk into office by acclamation without voters even having a choice.
Women For a Better Lee has been tracking the actions and policies of Commissioners Hamman and Pendergrass for almost four years. It is widely known what we think of these two men — their coziness with special interests, their disdain for public participation, their lack of transparency and vision. If Lee County is to grow and its residents to thrive, we need elected officials who are less focused on paving wetlands and more willing to listen and act in the interest of citizens.
Women For a Better Lee is proud to endorse Karen Watson and Jim Sheets for election to the Lee Board of County Commissioners and encourage voters to remember their names – and bring pencils to the polls. Send a message to our commissioners and make your vote count!