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"Mike Greenwell draws challenger in Lee Co. Commission race"

Updated: Mar 19

Correction:Amanda Cochran filed on March 4, 2024 and Greenwell filed on March 11, 2024 for re-election.

Amanda Cochran announced days after the incumbent filed for re-election.**

Lee County Commissioner Mike Greenwell coasted to election after an appointment from Gov. Ron DeSantis. Now he’s launching a re-election bid but faces opposition.

Community activist Amanda Cochran filed against Greenwell in an upcoming Republican Primary.

Greenwell announced in an email to supporters that he’s ready to serve a full four year term after an eventful tenure already.

“It seems hard to believe that it has been nearly 18 months since Governor DeSantis appointed me to the Lee County Commission,” he wrote. “Since then, a lot has happened: a catastrophic hurricane, the rebuilding of our community, and unprecedented growth all across Southwest Florida. Serving as your county commissioner has been an amazing honor and we have accomplished a lot over the past year and a half, but there’s still more to be done.”

He formally filed on March 11 to run again for his District 5 seat, and announced an April 2 campaign kickoff at The Forrest Country Club.

Cochran, meanwhile, stressed her own history in the area in a candidate announcement.

“With six generations of family history in Lee County, I am firmly invested in the well-being of our community,” she said. “The commission’s goal should be to act on behalf of the public, not in place of the public. As your commissioner, I will listen, understand, and steadfastly advocate for the needs of Lee County residents. We have a vibrant community that deserves responsible leadership and responsiveness. My only motivation is to make our community a better place for the citizens of Lee County. Together, we can build a brighter future for Lee County—one rooted in transparency, sustainability, and unity.”

The email made no mention of Greenwell, but stressed transparency and environmental stewardship, signaling what messaging lays ahead as she challenges an incumbent.

Greenwell, meanwhile, said he’s proud of the work done already on the commission, and a desire to keep serving.

“We cannot prevent people from moving to Southwest Florida but as our community grows, we can manage where and how that growth happens and ensure our infrastructure is keeping pace,” he wrote. “Roads and utilities need to be expanded across the county, especially in areas like Lehigh Acres and Northeast Lee County. These are issues we must tackle head on, for the sake of future generations. I am ready to lead this charge over the next four years.”

The race between Greenwell and Cochran in August may be the political event for Lee County. Democrat Kizzie Fowler awaits in the general election, but the primary winner in the deep red county will head to November as a heavy favorite. The county, as of Feb. 20, has 223,951 registered Republicans, compared to 109,773 Democrats and 141,493 non-partisan and third-party voters.

Greenwell was appointed in July 2022 to fill the time before the next election after the death of Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann.  He later won almost 69% of the Republican Primary vote in 2022 over former Lee County Commissioner John Albion.

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