By Joseph Cranney of the Naples Daily News
The race for Naples mayor comes down to three candidates, and six other residents are seeking seats on the Naples City Council.
The qualifying period for the election, which will be held March 15, ended Friday. City Council members Bill Barnett and Teresa Heitmann will run for mayor against incumbent John Sorey, opening up two council seats. Vice-Mayor Dee Sulick, who is term limited this year, will also have her council seat open up.
Barnett decided to run in September after he said concerned civic and business leaders reached out to him. Heitmann entered the race last week as a self-described alternative to Barnett and Sorey, who hold similar voting records.
Barnett previously served as mayor from 1996-2000 and 2004-12. Barnett was also on council from 1984-92. Heitmann has been a councilwoman since 2008 and is term limited this year. Sorey was a councilman from 2004-12 and was unopposed in the 2012 mayoral election.
The council candidates are: Reg Buxton, Terry Hutchison, Michelle McLeod, James Moon, Wynn Phillips and Ellen Seigel. The top vote getters will earn the council seats.
Buxton and Seigel are sitting members of the city's Planning Advisory Board. Moon, an attorney, is in his third term as a member of the Code Enforcement Board. McLeod is chair of the Community Services Advisory Board.
Phillips is a former member of the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board who also ran for council in 2014. Hutchison, who filed his candidate forms Thursday, has been a 7-11 franchise owner.
City Council members Doug Finlay, Linda Penniman and Sam Saad are not up for re-election. Their four-year terms end in 2018.