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Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos to seek re-election, announces kick-off fundraiser

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

George Cretekos will be seeking another term as Clearwater mayor.

To celebrate the launch of his re-election campaign, Cretekos, the city’s former vice mayor who served on the City Council since 2007, announced a kick-off fundraising reception at the Sheraton Sand Key on Monday, September 28. Hosting the event are more than 100 local entrepreneurs, neighborhood leaders, and supporters.

The popular Clearwater politician won his first term to succeed term-limited Mayor Frank Hibbard in 2012 with a landslide of 71 percent. Hibbard is also a member of the host committee for his successor’s launch party.

“During my entire career in public service,” Cretekos said in an announcement. “I have worked on behalf of the people of Clearwater and Pinellas County. I have the experience to lead Clearwater during the next four years.”

As part of his platform, Cretekos highlighted support of new economic opportunities, improved housing, youth initiatives promoting Clearwater as the “premier tourist destination in Pinellas County.”

Bud Elias, a host committee member who is past chair of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, commended Cretekos as a “hands-on” mayor.

“He has been an ambassador for the city, and his experience and temperament benefit Clearwater and the entire Tampa Bay community,” Elias said.

Country Club Addition Neighborhood Association coordinator Judi Westfall also praised the mayor as  “genuinely hard-working, caring, enthusiastic, supportive, creative, sincere,” saying he was the kind of mayor Clearwater “needs to keep in office.”

A Pinellas County native, Cretekos’ political career included working as a longtime staffer for U.S. Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young, who represented the region for more than 40 years. Cretekos started right out of graduate school in 1970, and moved to Clearwater in 1976 to become Young’s chief aide until he retired in 2006.

Cretekos is a graduate of Davidson College and has a master’s of public administration in urban affairs degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife Carolyn celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary this month.

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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