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St. Pete union backs Charlie Gerdes re-election to City Council

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Service Employees International Union Florida is backing St. Pete City Council chair Charlie Gerdes for re-election to West St. Pete’s District 1.

“I respect him not only as a Council member but also as a human being, said local union chapter chair Brian “Cricket” Brehm. “When we are out there helping our homeless communities, we also see Mr. Gerdes doing all he can to serve them.”

The union, which represents the SEIU’s public, healthcare and property services workers in the city, is backing Gerdes over his opponent, Monica Abbott.

“He is a vocal supporter of the city workers in their fight for fair wages. He is a strong leader and an integral part of our community due to his proven record of serving with integrity and being inclusive and effective,” Brehm said. “We look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Gerdes to improve the services we provide as well as the quality of life for our communities we proudly serve.”

Gerdes faces Abbott in the November 3 citywide election. The union has also backed Steve Kornell for District 5 and Lisa Wheeler-Brown for District 7. Kornell faces Phillip Garrett and Wheeler-Brown is matched up with Will Newton for a heated race to replace Wengay Newton.

District 3, currently served by outgoing council member Bill Dudley, was also up for grabs this election. Ed Montanari was elected to that seat without opposition.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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