St. Pete City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes will have to campaign to earn another term in office. During the final hour of qualifying for this year’s municipal election a challenger emerged.
The politically engaged Monica Abbott filed to run against Gerdes just after 4 p.m. Monday. The deadline to file was 5.
“I’m not mad,” Gerdes said. “I’m fired up.”
Gerdes said he knew Abbott was an engaged citizen, but was still shocked when he got word she had filed to run against him.
“I thought a couple, three months ago she might do this,” he said.
But with less than an hour before being unceremoniously re-elected Gerdes could see the finish line.
“It’s OK,” he said. “I look forward to getting back out there and campaigning.”
Abbott lives behind the Crystal Bay Hotel on Park Street and Central Avenue. The property has frequently changed ownership and it’s been a consistent struggle to keep it maintained.
Abbott has lobbied to have the property demolished.
Gerdes said he knows she’s also been involved in a couple of different West side neighborhood associations like Azalea.
The kicker in Abbott’s bid for city council – she’s currently suing the city. She filed a lawsuit after a public meeting several months ago in which she was cut off during public comment because her allotted three-minutes were up.
Later another speaker, the outspoken community activist Momma Tee Lassiter, spoke and exceeding the three-minute time limit but was not stopped. Abbott argues it wasn’t fair she was forced to cut her remarks short while another speaker was not.
Gerdes will face Abbott at the ballot box on August 25 for the Primary Election.