Former ATF agent joins the Bonita Springs mayoral race

David Grothaus

David Grothaus

— The race for mayor of Bonita Springs is heating up as a second candidate has emerged.

David Grothaus, 53, filed the required paperwork with Lee County and the city, materials that were made available to the public on Monday.

Grothaus has a wife, Pamela, and two children, son Matthew and daughter Shannon.

He retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) last year and moved to Bonita Spring with his wife.

Grothaus served as the ATF Special Agent in Charge for the state of Wyoming and has a master’s degree in management from Johns Hopkins University.

“When I look at our budget it concerns me because we’ve had multiple years where we’ve dug into our reserves,” Grothaus said. “You have to be aggressive about it so you can stay afloat.”

Incumbent Ben Nelson has also filed the required paperwork for the race.

Deadline for candidates to register is 5 p.m. on Oct. 20. The election is Jan. 31, 2012.

Grothaus was born in St. Louis, Mo., and grew up in nearby Jefferson, Mo. He served in the military before becoming a state trooper.

Besides the budget, Grothaus said he’s concerned about the estimated 1.5 million square feet of retail and commercial space in the Bonita area that sits unused. Those figures came from a Bonita Springs Area chamber of Commerce report from earlier this year.

Grothaus is registered as a Republican although city elections are non-partisan.

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