A look at the two candidates running for Fort Myers mayor

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

A battle is coming for the Fort Myers mayor’s office. Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson is up for re-election, his opponent is David Ruffin.

Anderson said he isn’t afraid of a bit of competition. “I think it’s good to have multiple candidates. I think that keeps us on our toes.”

WINK News has reached out to Ruffin and is still working on setting up an interview with him.

According to Ruffin’s Facebook page, his goals as mayor would include affordable housing, clean and safe neighborhoods, reducing the number of homeless, and keeping the schools and the elderly population safe.

Ruffin admits he has a past but says that doesn’t define him. His most recent past includes felony drug charges from 2018. He also has a slew of felonies dating back as far as 1993.

Felonies or not, you can still run and win public office with one. Fort Myers City Council Member Terolyn Watson has a felony conviction from 2002 for grand theft.

Mayor Anderson says he doesn’t plan on using Ruffin’s past as part of his campaign.

“I don’t anticipate doing that, but I am going to continue to put out to the public is look at the representation you have had for these past two years. Are you happy with that? Do you want four more years of that type of representation?” said Anderson.

Anderson said he will run on his record.

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson (Credit: The City of Fort Myers)

Anderson became mayor when the previous mayor, Randy Henderson, quit and ran for congress.

“One thing is, I’ve always pushed being accessible, responsive, and transparent,” said Anderson.

Anderson said Ruffin might be new to running for office, but he’s no stranger. Anderson said Ruffin is a frequent caller.

“Whenever he has called, I’ve always tried to be responsive to him just like any other citizen,” said Anderson. “We have met several times. The other day I saw him in the parking lot at city hall when he was coming to qualify, and he yelled out, ‘hey’ there’s my favorite mayor!'”

The Fort Myers municipal primary elections take place on Aug. 23. The general election takes place on Nov. 8.

The mayor is not the only person who is up for re-election. Teresa Brown, who represents Ward 1, Terolyn Watson, who represents Ward 3, and Fred Burson, who represents Ward 5, are also on the ballot.

Brown and Watson have opponents who you can see by clicking here. Burson is running unopposed.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.