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Direct mail round-up: Charlie Gerdes targets voter with first round of campaign mailers

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council chair Charlie Gerdes has sent out his first campaign mailer asking voters to re-elect him as the District 1 representative for West St. Pete. The mailer announces to voters, “Putting you first. Moving us forward.”

The mailer, sent to more than 13,000 city voters Monday, lists some of Gerdes’ accomplishments as council chair.

Gerdes wrote the board put $2 million back into the city’s coffers “so that we can manage our growth smartly,” funded a new police headquarters “so that our officers have the best tools to keep us safe” and approved and funded the Southside Community Redevelopment Area, “ensuring that all parts of St. Pete can grow and prosper.”

“St. Petersburg is a city on the rise. Over the last four years we have seen tremendous progress on critical issues facing our city from economic growth to urban development to becoming a destination for the arts. I am proud to be a part of shaping our city’s future,” the flier read. “We can’t afford to go back”

The back of the flier lists Gerdes’ endorsements including several local unions like the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Police Benevolent Association and the Association of Firefighters. It also lists endorsements from the Pinellas Realtor Organization and the Stonewall Democrats.

Not listed in his endorsements are The Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times. Both papers endorsed Gerdes this week.

Gerdes has raised less than $5,000 for his campaign while his opponent, Monica Abbott, self-funded her campaign with $11,000.

Gerdes said he’s not a big fan of spending copious amounts of money on local elections when there are so many worthy causes where money could be better spent. With that in mind, he’s trying to get through a campaign with as little funding as possible.

He said he will be opening up his website soon, asking for small contributions from supporters to help fund the remainder of the campaign.

Gerdes faces Abbott at the ballot box on November 3 for a citywide election.

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

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