A third candidate has emerged to run for the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District.

For those who are unfamiliar, the GSCDD is made up of the entire Gateway community and the Pelican Preserve 55 and older community in Fort Myers. It’s an odd arrangement but it’s been in place for many years.

Because Pelican Preserve is part of the CDD, Pelican residents can serve as Supervisors. In fact, Chairman William Guy and Supervisor Gary Neubauer both live in Pelican Preserve.

And so does Mary Carol Stanley, who submitted the necessary paperwork on June 20 establishing her candidacy to run for Seat 2 (Neubauer’s seat) in this November’s election.

Stanley had been a Supervisor from July 2004 to November 2010. She was appointed to Seat 4 of the GSCDD board on July 12, 2004, then ran unopposed in the 2006 election, and did not run in 2010.

A quick refresher: the GSCDD has a 5-member board, and three of the board seats (Seats 1, 2 and 3) are up for election in 2016.

Seat 1 belongs to Vice-Chairman Margaret Fineberg who is running in 2016. Seat 2 currently belongs to Neubauer but he will not be running this year. And Seat 3 belongs to Supervisor Pam Gill who is seeking re-election.

With Stanley now filing for Seat 2, each of the seats has one candidate officially running.

But things just became a little bit more complicated for those people who are thinking of running.

Stanley will have the support of the Pelican Preserve voting block, who traditionally have strong voter turnout. In the 2014 election, Rod Senior had to choose between running against the sitting Chairman (at the time) Peter Doragh or Supervisor (at the time) William Guy.

Senior chose to avoid Guy simply to avoid the Pelican Preserve factor. The decision apparently paid off as Senior was able to defeat Doragh and become a Supervisor. (Senior quit the position earlier this year and was replaced by Supervisor Doug Banks.)

But the same decision will have to be made by anybody else contemplating a run. Go head to head against Stanley and her Pelican Preserve support, or target the incumbents Fineberg or Gill?

Regardless of which way they choose to go, candidates will have to make their decision quickly as the deadline to file the appropriate paperwork with Lee Elections is June 24.

Hopefully multiple candidates emerge this week. Only having 1 person run for each seat would be … well, that would be as bad as trying to nail jello to a wall, as Stanley is fond of saying.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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