Attorney John O. McGowan was the winner of the open judge seat in the 20th Judicial Circuit during the Tuesday primary election, beating his opponent James Chandler by 15.6 percentage points.

McGowan carried 107,027 or 57.8 percent of votes, while Chandler received 78,125 or 42.2 percent.

McGowan is a Naples-based defense attorney who focuses primarily on criminal and civil litigation. He started his career at the State Attorney’s Office in Collier County in 1992, after finishing law school at Western Michigan University.

He holds more than a decade’s more experience than Chandler, who is also a private attorney in Naples. Chandler graduated from law school in Colorado in 2002 and moved to Florida to work for the State Attorney’s Office in 2005. He started his own law firm in 2012.

McGowan, in addition to his legal work, has already held public office, serving as the North Naples Fire Commissioner since 2006. He held endorsements from State Attorney Stephen Russell and the sheriffs of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties.


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