Cheryl Cates, who grew up in Key West since age 2, bills herself as the candidate most involved in the community, having taken part in service organizations and annual events for years.
"Having a business here for 20 years, always being out in the community," Cates said, when asked recently what makes her the best candidate for the Utility Board. "I think I know the people's needs. I think I could be a voice for the people on the board."
This is Cates' first run for political office, although she has been treasurer of her husband Craig Cates' mayoral campaigns.
She also helped run the family businesses, Cates Automotive, which sold used cars, and the NAPA store her husband owned before retiring.
At a recent candidates forum, all three candidates were asked if he or she would concede the election to prevent a runoff even if the numbers put them in a Nov. 5 election.
No one spoke up at first, but Cates took the microphone after a couple of seconds.
"I'm in it to win it," Cates said, smiling.