Naples Councilman Gary Price to decide in January if he will run for Trey Radel's seat in Congress

Gary Price, Naples city councilman and financial advisor with Fifth Avenue Advisors, meets with business partner Craig Lyon at their Naples office.

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Gary Price, Naples city councilman and financial advisor with Fifth Avenue Advisors, meets with business partner Craig Lyon at their Naples office.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to say Rep. Trey Radel has filed the necessary paperwork saying he plans to seek office.

Naples Vice Mayor Gary Price on Wednesday said he’d likely announce in early January if he’ll run for Rep. Trey Radel’s 19th District Congressional seat, which represents Lee and Collier counties.

“My family and I will spend this holiday season talking about whether I’ll make a run,” Price said during a break at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “A lot of people have been encouraging me to do it.”

Radel, a first-term congressman, was busted in October for possession of cocaine in Washington, D.C. He pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced to a year of supervised probation.

Radel has said he would not resign his seat. Although he has filed paperwork to run, Radel has not said whether he plans to continue his re-election bid. He is currently in a drug-rehabilitation program at Hazelden in Naples.

Price has served two terms on council, beginning in 2005. Term limits prohibit him from seeking a third consecutive term.

“I believe I can be helpful at a federal level,” said Price, who will serve on council for one more meeting in January. “I enjoy being a public servant, and I have a public servant’s heart.”

Price cited his opposition to the annexation of Pelican Bay in 2005 and his time as chairman of the city’s financial committee as two of his proudest accomplishments while on council.

“Sometimes the votes were (unanimously against me) but I challenged everything I believed needed to be challenged,” he said.

Elections for three open seats on city council — including Price’s — will take place Feb 4.

The primary election for Radel’s seat is on Aug. 26, followed by the general election on Nov. 4. Whether or not Radel runs for re-election, other names have been floated about as possible replacements, including state Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers; former U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers; former state representatives Gary Aubuchon and Paige Kreegel; and Chauncey Goss, the son of the region’s onetime congressman Porter Goss,

Mayor John Sorey lauded Price’s efforts on City Council while presenting Price with a commendation from the city for his years of service. Sorey singled out Price’s performance as chairman of the city’s general pension board as particularly noteworthy.

He expressed regret at Price’s impending departure.

“There are pluses and minuses to term limits, and this is one of the minuses,” Sorey said.

Price, a proponent of term limits, said that he would miss politics on a local level.

“I’m a big fan of politics on this level because I believe it holds you the most accountable,” he said. “I call it the ‘Publix Effect’. If I go to the grocery store with my children and run into my neighbors who don’t agree with something I did, I’m going to hear about it.”

Price, a Republican, is a partner in Fifth Avenue Advisors, an investment-management firm that provides wealth-advisory services to well-off families. He and his wife, Kim, have two children.

Rezoning approved for retirement community

City Council unanimously approved a rezoning petition for a 22-acre parcel of land east of Goodlette-Frank Road, west of the Gordon River, south of Golden Gate Parkway and north of the Naples Zoo to allow for the development of a continuing-care retirement community.

John English of Peninsula Engineering said the community would feature 12 buildings with eight individual-living units each, for a total of 96 units. Another 80 units will be available for those who require assisted living.

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Comments » 8

LSPinNaples writes:

I hope he's not a tea potty obstructionist.

410 writes:

Yeah, just what we need....another Republican lawyer.

Rainman11 writes:

Well... that is a deep subject.

I personally don't care if the candidate is a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Tea Party. Just so long as they are conservative minded and not a PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL... one of the ones destroying America. And they should not be a drunk druggie either.

Robertofnaples writes:

in response to Rainman11:

Well... that is a deep subject.

I personally don't care if the candidate is a Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Tea Party. Just so long as they are conservative minded and not a PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL... one of the ones destroying America. And they should not be a drunk druggie either.

Rainman11, thank God you're here.Please Rainman; tell us what a conservative is these days.I thought I was a conservative, I thought Reagan was a Conservative; but it turns out neither of us are what now is considered a C/conservative. Please explain.

suzie writes:

Just say NO!

GratefulDem65 (Inactive) writes:

Robert, please do not ask rainman to explain anything.

We've heard too much already.

Rainman11 writes:

Har... my understanding of a conservative.

Someone that believes in personal responsibility to begin with.

Someone who uses their own money to help people if they are of a mind to help.

Someone who believes you have the right to do what you want, as long as it don't hurt others.

I still think Reagan was conservative leaning, you on the other hand... I have no idea.

GratefulDem65 (Inactive) writes:

in response to Rainman11:

Har... my understanding of a conservative.

Someone that believes in personal responsibility to begin with.

Someone who uses their own money to help people if they are of a mind to help.

Someone who believes you have the right to do what you want, as long as it don't hurt others.

I still think Reagan was conservative leaning, you on the other hand... I have no idea.

You just described many Democrats there too.

Including myself.

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