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City Council candidates at Tiger Bay today

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
The two races for St. Petersburg City Council District 5 and 6 seats each share common elements. They both contain economically and racially diverse areas of the City with some of the most valuable, and most economically troubled real estate. They also feature open, or nearly open, seats as opposed to other districts where the incumbents are fairly securely entrenched. But the most interesting element each shares is the field of candidates. Each has a presumed front-runner.

In District 5 its Angela Rouson, the wife of a prominent state representative. And in District 6, Karl Nurse, a business man recently appointed to the Council to finish an unexpired term, is formally endorsed by none other than the current Mayor. Each race also features dark horses who, though less known, could be surprise victors with their unique backgrounds and “outsider” status. Neighborhood activist and School District Counselor Steven Kornell may convince District 5 voters that his Masters degree in social work will give him the skills to navigate the varied personalities on Council, while USF student Derrick Frohne will try to make the case to District 6 that generational change will bring a new energy to the job. Respectively, under-funded underdogs Joseph Smith and Vel Thompson will fight for attention in races which may be decided early by mail-in ballots influenced by costly candidate direct mail.

Will an African American woman win a “traditionally white” seat. Can a white male businessman keep his “traditionally black” one? Will the local political party leaders continue to inject party politics into what in theory are non-partisan races? And why do these “political animals” want so badly to join the City Council zoo? Being kings of the political jungle, our Club’s Tigers will be out to test the instincts and reflexes of these candidates. Be sure to reserve your seat now to see how they do.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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