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Darden Rice backing Gina Driscoll for St. Pete City Council

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Darden Rice has become the third member of the St. Petersburg City Council to endorse Gina Driscoll in the race for the District 6 seat.

Joining Karl Nurse and Charlie Gerdes in backing their fellow Democrat, Rice says that Driscoll is a proven leader and consensus builder.

“District 6 needs an open-hearted and open-minded leader who listens, and Gina is genuinely committed to making St. Pete an even more inclusive and welcoming place for everyone,” says Rice in a statement. “She is an honest and capable leader who will be an asset for St. Petersburg on day one.”

Driscoll, the president of the St Petersburg Downtown Neighborhood Association President and the sales manager at the downtown Hampton Inn and Suites, is running against businessman Justin Bean for the open seat that’s been held for the past nine years by Nurse.

“I’m so honored to have the support of Council Chair Rice,” Driscoll said on Tuesday. “She has been a dedicated advocate for our city even before she joined council, and has been the driving force behind so many of our biggest accomplishments, including curbside recycling and the Wage Theft Prevention ordinance. I’m excited to work with her once I join council to keep our city moving in the right direction.”

While Bean received the most votes in the eight-person primary on Aug. 29, a  St. Pete Poll survey of more than a thousand voters released Tuesday shows Driscoll leading Bean 30 to 20 percent in the city, with 50 percent of voters still undecided.

Driscoll says that Rice will join her in a coordinated canvass and phone bank next Sunday from 1:00pm-4:00 p.m. at 2250 1st Ave N in St. Petersburg.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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