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Here are six things you don't know about Donna Fiala who not run for re-election in 2020 after two decades as Collier County commissioner. Patrick Riley and Oscar Santiago Torres, Naples Daily News

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The race for a Collier County commission seat, held by an incumbent who won't run again, has drawn half a dozen contenders so far.

Cliff Donenfeld, vice chairman of the local Republican Party, entered the already crowded race last month, joining five other candidates vying to replace longtime commissioner Donna Fiala.

Her district, District 1, covers East Naples, Marco Island, the Isles of Capri, Goodland and surrounding communities.

Donenfeld will face four other Republican candidates in the primary election on Aug. 18, 2020: Rick LoCastro, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel; William Douglass, a retired lieutenant with the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District; Jacob Winge, who works for a property management firm at Sandalwood Village; and Mark Batchelor, a community association manager for Southwest Property Management.

Businessman John Jenkins is running as a Democrat. He has no primary challenger.

Although the District 1 field continues to grow, none of the candidates has officially qualified yet. To qualify for a spot on the ballot county commission candidates either have to pay a fee or submit enough signed petitions by June 12.

More: With Collier Commissioner Donna Fiala not seeking reelection, three vie for District 1 seat

More: Fifth candidate joins crowded Collier County commission race for District 1

Donenfeld, 56, moved to Collier in 2004 and works as an associate broker at Coldwell Banker.

As a commissioner, Donenfeld said, he would help prevent "silly expenditures" like a proposed parking garage at Clam Pass Park that has drawn criticism from environmentalists and neighbors. 

"It would be a bad idea if it were free," he said, adding that it would tie up traffic and negatively affect the beach.

Donenfeld said he has spoken out against tax increases in the past before the county commission and said a sales tax increase voters passed last year has hurt businesses and individuals. 

"Real Republicans don't raise taxes," he said.

Donenfeld said he wants to make water quality a priority, establish a lighted dog park in East Naples and create a real estate oversight board to vet potential county land deals. 

A former member of the county's public transit advisory committee, Donenfeld said better public transportation would help Collier's elderly population, tourists and Immokalee residents. He wants to increase the county's spending on public transit, which he said lags behind comparable counties.

"We have a tiny budget" for public transit, Donenfeld said. 

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More: Number of bus riders on the decline in Collier County

More: Collier Area Transit riders welcome new bus shelters

With the primary election still more than half a year away, some candidates have already amassed a sizable campaign war chest.

LoCastro has raised more than $35,700 so far, which includes a $20,000 loan from himself to his campaign. That is more than the rest of the field has raised combined. 

Douglass has collected the second-most campaign contributions in the race with more than $6,500, which includes a $100 loan to himself, followed by Winge who has raised $5,355, which includes a $425 loan to himself.

Connect with the reporter at patrick.riley@naplesnews.com or on Twitter @PatJRiley.

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