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Early ballots for St. Pete’s municipal races mailed out by elections supervisor

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections has mailed out the first ballots for St. Petersburg’s August primary to about 1,000 absentee service members and overseas voters.

The ballots for the August 29 municipal primary are heading out to all active-duty members of the military, as well as their family who are with them overseas. The first wave of ballots will be followed by mass mailing of about 64,000 ballots to St. Pete residents on July 25.

The election could possibly decide the next mayor of St. Petersburg, if one of the seven candidates for the race gets more than 50 percent of the vote.

Candidates for the city’s top post include current Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker, as well as Paul Congemi, Jesse Nevel, Anthony Cates and Theresa Lassiter.

Baker has put some separation between himself and Kriseman on the fundraising trail over the past two weeks, and currently has a $70,000 advantage in cash on hand. Recent polling also shows the former mayor with a 5-point lead over Kriseman, though he is nowhere near the 50 percent threshold for an outright victory in August.

If no candidate crosses the 50 percent line, voters will pick from the top two candidates in November.

Voters within District 6 will also decide on who will replace term limited council member Karl Nurse. Gina Driscoll, who was endorsed by Nurse last week, as well as Corey Givens, Maria Scruggs, Eritha Cainion, James Jackson, Justin Bean, James Scott and Robert Blackmon will be on the ballot.

The top two finishers in August will fight it out in the November general election.

More information on the upcoming election is available on the city’s website, and voters may request a ballot be mailed to them through the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections on the web, or by emailing MailBallot@VotePinellas.com.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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