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The announcement of Ray Sandelli to the Lee County Commission was almost anti-climactic.

SW Florida

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno endorses Ray Sandelli

Both men are facing their first elections since being appointed.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno endorsed County Commissioner Ray Sandelli Tuesday.

Sandelli was Gov. Ron DeSantis’ choice to fill a vacancy on the County Commissioner after the death of Larry Kiker.

Former Gov. Rick Scott appointed Marceno to be Lee County’s top cop in 2018 after the retirement of Sheriff Mike Scott.

“Ray Sandelli has dedicated himself to serving his country and community,” Marceno said.

“From his military service as a Naval Aviator to his current service as our County Commissioner, Ray always puts his community first and it is my honor to endorse him. Ray is a strong supporter of law enforcement and will fight every day to protect our tax dollars, environment, and quality of life.”

Sandelli welcomed support from the county leader.

“I am honored to have earned the trust and support of Sheriff Marceno,” Sandelli said.

“We are truly blessed to have a Sheriff whose leadership and dedication to our County helps ensure our public safety every day. His endorsement means a great deal to me both personally and professionally.”

The move comes as both men face their first election since being appointed to their respective positions.

As Sandelli looks toward his first election, he has picked up the endorsement of Lee County’s Mayors as well, including Fort Myers Beach’s Anita Cereceda, Cape Coral’s Joe Coviello, Fort Myers’ Randy Henderson, Sanibel’s Kevin Ruane and Bonita Springs’ Pete Simmons.

The commercial real estate broker previously flew with the Blue Angels and served abroad in the Middle East and Cyprus.

He was a late contender for Lee County Commissioner and came under consideration in part thanks to a recommendation from House Republican Leader Dane Eagle.

Right now, Sandelli faces a primary challenge from Estero Village Councilman Nick Batos, who also applied for the appointment. Democrat Todd Truax has filed for the seat as well.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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