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The two candidates who made the most noise about protecting the town's development codes are Fort Myers Beach's new members of the Town Council. Political newcomer Tracey Gore, 44, and Dennis Boback, 68 and a former mayor (2006-2008), won the two at-large seats amongst a field of seven with 1,318 and 858 votes, respectively. “We stuck with our word from day one,” said Boback alongside Gore at a celebration party Tuesday on Primo Drive. “In the end, I think people respected that.” Added Gore, a beach native, “I spoke for a lot of people who have been here a long time who wanted a voice. I'm a byproduct of the people who voted for me today. Many of them I called my 'beach moms' over the years.” Was she surprised by her wide margin of victory? “Yes, but I know how much this meant to people and I think I well represent their concerns,” she said. When you look at the voting numbers, people certainly did care this year. According to Lee County Elections calculations, a robust 58 percent of the town's registered voters cast a ballot, with slightly more than half of them doing so by the mail-in or early-voting methods. Front and center in this election was the proposed Grand Resorts downtown redevelopment — something the two winners have steadfastly opposed in its current form. Jack Green, a former Fort Myers Beach town manager, took third — just 68 votes shy of gaining a seat. “Grand Resorts was in fact the deciding issue,” Green said. “The two people who expressed the most opposition to it won. The people have spoken on what they think of it.” In a disappointing fourth place was incumbent Dan Andre, the town's vice-mayor. “I wish them the best of luck with these important issues facing the town,” Andre said of the winners. Fifth-place went to newcomer Suzanne Katt. “This was a wonderful experience,” she said. “I learned so much.” Asked if either are interested in being mayor, which will be decided by vote of the five-person council Monday, both Gore and Boback said it's something that they haven't yet considered. Boback became mayor in 2006 shortly after being elected to the council in 2005. That said, they are both ready to get to work by getting back to basics. “We need to start over, almost from scratch, with the mindset of how this town was founded (20 years ago),” said Boback, who has argued that Town Hall is over-staffed and spending too much. During his eight years away from government, “I always paid attention,” he said. “Finally I had to step up.” Gore echoed the need to protect and respect what was first set in place. “People want their town back,” she said. “Having grown up here, I know how much it means.”

 
 

 

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