Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Charlie Gerdes doesn’t appear too worried about his seat

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Pete City Council chair Charlie Gerdes is considered a shoe-in for re-election despite having drawn a last minute challenger prior to the qualifying deadline. Despite his assumed advantage, Gerdes only leads his opponent, Monica Abbott, by $100 in campaign contributions.

The lackluster campaign finance report shows Gerdes is likely not worried about being unseated.

Gerdes has raised just $1,100 as of the end of June and $600 of that came from his own checkbook. The St. Pete Association of Fire Fighters kicked in the other $500.

That contribution is ironic considering Gerdes has endorsed Aaron Sharpe for City Council District 7. One of Sharpe’s opponents is Will Newton, a retired fire fighter and union leader.

Gerdes has only forked over money for his qualifying fee so far. That amounts to just over $546.

Gerdes’ challenger has raised $1,000, however the reports available through the City Clerk filed by Abbott do not itemize where her contributions came from.

Abbott has spent the exact same amount on her campaign as Gerdes, implying she has also only paid for qualifying fees. But again, her Second Quarter report does not itemize expenditures.

A request was sent to the City Clerk asking for the missing itemized report and seeking clarification on whether Abbott filed a complete document. That query has not yet been answered. We’ll update this post when it is.

Gerdes will face Abbott at the ballot box in the General Election this November.

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 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

Latest from The Bay and the 'Burg

Go to Top