Ruane Wins, Maughan Loses Primary Election

by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes and Associate Publisher Chuck Larsen

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane defeated Michael Dreikorn in the Republican race for the District 1 seat on the Lee County Board of County Commissioners in Tuesday’s Primary Election.

“I’m very, very humbled and more than appreciative of the communities that obviously spoke loudly,” said Ruane. “To have a win as large as I did was unexpected and has more than kept me humbled.”

He received 62.17 percent of the 73,802 total votes cast. He will face write-in candidate Kelsey Hotchkiss, a Florida Gulf Coast University student from Lakeland, Fla., in the November General Election.

This is the second time in five years Ruane has run for county commissioner. He announced his first candidacy in 2015, but ended his campaign due to a family health issue. Clean water, a budget based on principle and a plan for future generations are the cornerstones of his current campaign.

“There’s a bigger opportunity in front of me and I look forward to that,” said Ruane, who is running on his leadership, experience and results.

Ruane has been a councilman since 2007 and council members have voted to appoint him as mayor every term since 2010. During his 11 consecutive terms as mayor, he cut Sanibel city taxes by 26 percent and reduced the city’s debt by 80 percent. He also boosted the city’s rainy day fund from $2 million to $12 million.

“I think I’ve done a good job on Sanibel and I hope I can do the same for the county,” he said. “Good news is I get to help Sanibel as it is part of my district.”

Ruane has expertise in accounting and finance. He is the founder and owner of Castleton Capital, which provides financing to small businesses nationwide.

Jason Maughan

Councilman Jason Maughan lost his Republican race for Florida House seat from District 76 to his opponent Adam Botana, who received 59.5 percent of the 23,803 total votes.

This race marked the second time in four years Maughan has run for a job in the Legislature. He challenged Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto unsuccessfully in 2016. Maughan was then elected to council in 2017, after two consecutive appointments to the Sanibel Planning Commission.

In a Facebook post following the election, Maughan thanked his friends for their kindness, time and financial support given to him. “You have my unending thanks,” he wrote.

Maughan and Ruane have resigned from council effective in November due to Florida’s ‘resign to run’ law. In December, the remaining council members – Vice Mayor Mick Denham, Holly Smith and Richard Johnson – will appoint replacements to serve until the city election in March 2021. A new mayor and vice mayor will also be appointed in December to serve until the city election.

The 2020 Primary Election turned out 31.68 percent of the 468,141 active eligible voters in Lee County. The most ballots were cast by mail, at 74.28 percent, followed by 18.21 percent voting on election day, and just 7.47 percent through early voting.

Sanibel voters overwhelming cast their ballots by mail (1,862 voters); 380 voted on election day and 30 voted early. That accounts for 30.69 percent of the island’s population.


Comments (2)

  1. Laura Oliff-Maxey

    When Maughan wholeheartedly supported the most incompetent president (trump), Floridians realized he was not their candidate!

  2. I am not familiar with the “resign to run” law nor whether it is lawful to hold the position of Lee Commissioner and Sanibel City Councilman, but if it is,I would urge Council Members Denham, Smith and Johnson to appoint Ruane and Maughan in December.

Leave a Comment

We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day. To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling. It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, if it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.