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Will Newton nabs endorsement from City Council Vice Chair Amy Foster

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council candidate Will Newton has nabbed an endorsement from City Council member Amy Foster.

“Will Newton has the work experience with city governments, the demeanor, and the proven leadership skills to be the kind of City Council member we need,” Foster said. “This race isn’t about the Rays. District 7 and our entire city face serious and complex challenges. I believe Mr. Newton understands the issues and is prepared to work collaboratively with the council to make great things happen!”

Newton announced the endorsement in an email Thursday. Newton has already been endorsed by council member Steve Kornell.

“I feel honored to have the support of Councilmember Foster,” said Newton. “I admire her strong advocacy for safer neighborhoods and increased opportunity for all. I look forward to working with her.”

Newton currently serves as the district vice president of the Florida Professional Fire Fighters overseeing Pinellas and Pasco counties. He formerly served as a St. Pete Fire Fighter and EMT for 23 years and as the president of Childs Park Neighborhood Association. Newton also served on St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman’s Public Safety Transitional Team Task Force. He also earned the 2011 Governor and Cabinet award for State Professional Fire Fighter of the year.

Newton is also endorsed by numerous firefighter groups and the local Police Benevolent Association.

Newton faces four challengers in the District 7 race to replace his brother, City Council member Wengay Newton. The other candidates are Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Sheila Scott-Griffin, Aaron Sharpe and Lewis Stephens.

Newton is performing second behind Wheeler-Brown in fundraising numbers.

The five candidates will face each other at the ballot box Tuesday for the primary election open only to District 7 voters. The top two vote-getters will move on to the general election November 3.

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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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