941-764-4941 info@CharlotteEDP.com

2018 is an election year and soon, politics will take center stage in our county, state and nation. The EDP believes it is vital for the voice of business to be represented in our elections – before and after those elections occur. Whether it’s a city councilman or county commissioner, elected officials possess tremendous power to shape policies and laws that impact our community. Because of that, the EDP initiated a program in 2012 designed to engage candidates for election. We are an apolitical organization, so it makes no difference whether a candidate is Republican or Democrat, Independent or otherwise. We want to know their views on bottom-line business issues like local incentives, infrastructure, regulations, taxation, education, workforce development and economic development. To that end, the EDP has established a system for evaluating candidates for endorsement.

The process begins with the creation of an EDP sub-committee. They determine who will be invited, what questions will be asked and which issues are critical for companies in Charlotte County. Candidates are given equal time to share their views and the EDP has an opportunity to express its collective concerns. After personal meetings are held, the sub-committee makes recommendations to the EDP board of directors; they determine which candidates will receive formal public endorsement from the Charlotte County EDP.  Here is a list of EDP-endorsed candidates from the most recent election:


  • Commissioner, District 4 – Commissioner Stephen R. Deutsch
  • School Board District 1 – Geri Waksler
  • Airport Authority District 2 – Julie Price
  • Airport Authority District 4 – Kathleen Coppola
  • Punta Gorda City Council District 2 – Rachel Keesling
  • State Senate District 23 – Rep. Joe Gruters
  • State Senate District 26 – Rep. Ben Albritton