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St. Pete mayoral, council hopefuls to hold forums in July

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In St. Petersburg, election season is well underway. Over the next week or so, St. Pete voters will get a chance to hear directly from candidates running for mayor and city council.

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Without challenger, Amy Foster wins in St. Pete District 8

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As qualifying ended at 5 p.m. in St. Petersburg’s mayoral and City Council races, one race is over before it ever really began. Amy Foster has been re-elected to District 8. Foster filed her paperwork May 24, one day after St. Petersburg social worker Tharius Bethel mounted a challenge – lasting no more than a day. Bethel was forced to drop out of the race also on May 24, after informing the City Clerk’s office that he did not live…

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House Committee unanimously OKs flood insurance bill sponsored by Kathy Castor, Dennis Ross

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The House Financial Services Committee passed the bipartisan “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act,” one of five flood insurance related bills the committee advanced Wednesday. Polk County Republican Dennis Ross and Tampa Democrat Kathy Castor are sponsors of the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, which now goes to the full House for consideration. The lawmakers say the bill would encourage the development of a robust private flood insurance market that will provide homeowners more coverage options and lower costs. “Currently, many…

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Barclay Harless announces trio of summer events in St. Pete Council bid

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Barclay Harless is giving supporters not one, but three new opportunities to connect this summer in his bid for St. Petersburg City Council. The 31-year-old banking executive announced a trio of events Wednesday for the upcoming months as he runs for District 2, which covers most of Northeast St. Petersburg. On Sunday, July 9, Harless will be the featured guest at a Young Professionals Bruch hosted by MB Strategies founder Maya Brown and Cesar Hernandez, who currently serves as government…

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Barclay Harless touts LGBTQ endorsements in St. Pete Council race

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(UPDATED) Just in time for the Pride Parade later this month, aspiring St. Petersburg City Council District 2 candidate Barclay Harless is touting endorsements from several members of the LGBTQ community. “Barclay has served on the Pinellas Charter Review Commission, and I saw his leadership abilities and his pragmatic approach to solving challenges. I look forward to working with him as a fellow Pinellas City official,” said Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith, who is serving as a grand marshal for the…

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Barclay Harless still leading Brandi Gabbard in fundraising race

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Fundraising numbers are in for the month of May in the St. Petersburg City Council District 2 race between Barclay Harless and Brandi Gabbard. Harless had a better month of May, and has more cash on hand as the summer approaches. Barclay, a banker and former legislative aide to Darryl Rouson, raised $4,890 in May to Gabbard’s $1,670. Overall, Harless has raised more than $36,000 to date, Gabbard has raised more than $24,000. Harless has also spent more than Gabbard, but…

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St. Pete Council candidate Brandi Gabbard fears loss of workforce housing in city

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Realtors may be rejoicing over the possibility Florida’s homestead exemption could be increased by an additional $25,000 in 2019. Brandi Gabbard is not one of them. The National Association of Realtors director and a candidate in St. Petersburg’s District 2 race this year, Gabbart has “grave” concerns about the proposal, which if approved by the voters in November of 2018 could result in the loss of millions of dollars in revenue to the city. “Anything that causes huge deficits to local…

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