Barclay Harless is enjoying a strong start to his bid for St. Petersburg City Council.
In the first week since announcing, the local banker and community leader has received more than 100 individual contributors to his campaign for District 2, which represents most of northern St. Pete and the Gandy area.
“We are running a grassroots campaign powered by small businesses, St. Pete residents, and community members who want a fresh perspective to get things done in city hall,” Harless said in a statement Tuesday. “The challenges that face our city may seem daunting, but they are man-made, so we have the power to solve them.”
“We will not find solutions in finger-pointing or empty political rhetoric. Rather, our problems require bold, decisive action to get things done.”
Thanking his early supporters, Harless listed his top priorities, which include a renewed focus on the Pier, Tropicana Field, wastewater, small business growth and engagement with the people of St. Pete, to give them a larger voice in City Hall.
A fifth-generation Floridian, Harless has played significant roles in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. After graduating from the University of South Florida in 2010, he went to work for then-state Rep. Darryl Rouson. Harless also served on the board of R’Club Childcare, Inc., as well as the Louise Graham Center for Regeneration for three and half years. He served as state policy chair in the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as on grant boards for the Suncoast United Way. In 2015, Harless was appointed to the Pinellas Charter Review Commission where he sponsored a county amendment stipulating citizen-sponsored redistricting for the county commission.
Harless will face Brandi Gabbard, a former president of the Pinellas Realtor Organization, who filed Monday for the District 2 seat.