Barclay Harless won another key endorsement Monday as former state Rep. Dwight Dudley announce he was backing him for the District 2 seat on City Council.
Dudley, a local attorney described in a a release as a champion for consumers’ rights, adds his name to a list of supporters that includes Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni, Pinellas County School Board Vice Chair Rene Flowers, and St. Petersburg City Council members Kennedy and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman.
“During my time in Tallahassee, I fought to ensure that Florida’s consumers were treated fairly and unscrupulous corporations were held accountable,” Dudley stated. “Now, more than ever, I believe that we need principled leaders who won’t shy away from the tough battles. I observed Barclay at work and had the pleasure of working together with him in the Legislature, I am convinced that he has the integrity and tenacity necessary to face down any challenge. I know that he will stand up to outside interests and stand up for the families and small businesses of St. Petersburg. That is why I am honored to endorse Barclay and his fresh perspective for our city.”
Harless is running against realtor Brandi Gabbard in the race to succeed Kennedy, who is term-limited out of office this fall.
“Having worked across the aisle in the Florida Legislature, with local leaders on the Pinellas County Charter Review Board, with the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce and with the small businesses that have revolutionized our urban core, I am ready to take on the issues facing our city. I was raised with two basic fundamentals: one, be direct and honest in dealing with others. Two, tackle problems with a can-do, pragmatic approach,” said Harless.
Harless plans to focus on finding “common-sense solutions” to issues important to the St. Petersburg area: The Pier, Tropicana Field, and the city’s wastewater systems. He said he is committed to growing small, local businesses and engaging his district to better understand their concerns and priorities.
A fifth-generation Floridian, Harless has been involved in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. After graduating from the University of South Florida in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in history, he went to work in the Midtown area of St. Petersburg for State Rep. Darryl Rousonduring the height of the economic recession.
Harless has served on the board of R’Club Childcare, Inc., is a member of Equality Florida’s advisory board for the Competitive Workforce Act and has been on the Louise Graham Center for Regeneration board for three and half years. He also served as the state policy chair in the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and on grant boards for the Suncoast United Way.