Politics in the Park offers glimpse at Collier candidates

Veny W. Musum, of Naples, hugs state Senate candidate Kathleen Passidomo during Politics in the Park at the Naples Area Board of Realtors in Naples on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. Attendees met with local and state candidates up for commissioner seats, school board seats, fire district, and state Senate and representative seats.
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The primary election is still weeks away, but hundreds of Collier County residents got an early taste of election night excitement Tuesday in North Naples.

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In a packed conference room at the Naples Area Board of Realtors offices on Pine Ridge Road, visitors mingled with candidates for local and state races, studied campaign materials and cast their mock votes for an unscientific poll at the Politics in the Park event.

“What it does is it gives all of the various candidates that are in Collier County a platform to meet and greet in one location,” said Jesse Purdon, director of government affairs for NABOR.

“Generally, it’s done outside — Politics in the Park — luckily with the inclement weather we’ve had today this actually worked out perfect.”

More: Editorial: Election calendar holds key dates in coming week

The event, held in cooperation with the Collier Building Industry Association, allowed prospective voters to meet candidates, ranging from fire commission hopefuls to those vying for state office, Purdon said.

“It’s a great opportunity for both sides of the aisle to be able to reach out to the community,” he added.

With the conference center abuzz with chatter and illuminated by camera flashes, visitors strolled past candidates’ booths decked out with campaign signs in all sizes and colors. Cookies, candy and finger food sat on tables with red, white and blue cloth, and American flag balloons hovered beneath fluorescent lighting.

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