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Susan McGrath

Eric Skains exiting executive director position at St. Pete Pride

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Eric Skains, who has served as the executive director of St. Pete Pride for the past five years, is stepping down from his position. Skains’ resignation is effective August 31. The Houston native is moving back to his hometown to take a job in the corporate world, an opportunity he says he can’t turn down.

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If David Jolly runs again in 2018, would rank-and-file Republicans support him?

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Unless you’ve been boycotting cable news, former Pinellas County GOP Congressman David Jolly has been a ubiquitous presence, thanks to his unflinching takedowns on Donald Trump, the titular head of the Republican Party. “Donald Trump is done,” Jolly opined on “11th Hour with Brian Williams” last month after the Justice Department named Robert Mueller as the special counsel to oversee the investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. While that independence from GOP orthodoxy makes the former lawmaker a desired quantity on MSNBC and CNN, the feelings among some rock-ribbed Republicans toward him…

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Rick Baker recognizes previous stances on LGBT community will be campaign issue; Will it make a difference?

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Near the end of Rick Baker‘s 36-minute speech announcing a re-election challenge to Mayor Rick Kriseman, the former two-term mayor invoked his mantra of St. Petersburg being a “seamless city” — and that includes the LGBT community. “A lot has been said about me and the LGBT community by my opponent and by others,” he said on the steps of City Hall last week, without acknowledging why that was an issue when he was mayor and continues now as a candidate. “I want you to know…

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Activists blasts Rick Baker’s ‘backward thinking’ on LGBT rights

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A day after Rick Baker announced he would run again for St. Petersburg mayor, a group of LGBT leaders is scheduled to blast his record on LGBT issues. At a press conference set outside of City Hall, the activists are expected to note that during Baker’s tenure leading the city from 2001-2010, he banned the gay pride flag from flying at City Hall, refused to attend gay pride events around the city and “refused to offer any support for the LGBT community,” according to a…

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Tampa Bay Times’ Paul Tash says a priority for him is to ‘reconnect’ with Donald Trump supporters

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Although the Tampa Bay Times has a national presence, its greatest impact is, arguably, its reporting on what’s going on in the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida. Yet when Paul Tash, the paper’s president and CEO, came before the usually aggressive members of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, most of those who got the chance to ask him a question focused on their concerns about the phenomenon known as “fake news” and other related aspects…

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Pinellas GOP, Democrats poised to elect party leaders this Monday night

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When it comes to drama with their upcoming party reorganization meetings taking place next week, Pinellas County Republicans and Democrats have nothing on their Hillsborough County brethren. This coming Monday night, the local executive committees for the Republican and Democratic Parties in Pinellas County will be voting for their party leaders, and in both cases, it doesn’t appear to be many changes at hand – at least not yet. Pinellas Democratic Executive Committee Chair Susan McGrath is running to serve a second…

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In wake of loss to Donald Trump, Hillsborough County Democrats get surge of requests to join their party

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At their first event since being devastated by the results of the presidential election, there was literally not enough room to contain the number of Democrats who showed up at the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee meeting in Ybor City Monday night. A second room adjoining the main boardroom at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County facility was opened to contain the overflow crowd. “We’ve been inundated since the election,” said Ione Townsend, the chair of the Hillsborough County DEC. Although officially only 14…

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