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Ed Montanari likely to win City Council seat unopposed

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

If no one emerges by 5 p.m. Monday evening as a qualified candidate for St. Pete City Council District 3, Ed Montanari will emerge as the council member-elect to replace outgoing Bill Dudley.

As of Monday afternoon Montanari seems to have it in the bag. No one has filed paperwork to run against him and there hasn’t been a single whisper of potential challengers.

Local Democrats have been rumored to be looking, but appear to have come up empty-handed in finding a willing and viable opponent to take on the well funded and popularly backed Montanari.

If a brave challenger were to emerge in the final hours of qualifying Monday, they would face an uphill battle.

Montanari has reportedly accrued more than $45,000 and those numbers were leaked to SaintPetersblog nearly one month ago. The figure is likely to be much higher by now.

Montanari has not yet filed a treasurer’s report with the City Clerk’s office.

He also has a wide berth of support from the community. Two former mayors are behind him – Bill Foster and Rick Baker. City Council member Amy Foster endorsed him and serves on his host committee despite the fact that she’s a Democrat and he’s a Republican.

The council member Montanari will likely replace has also endorsed him despite Dudley defeating Montanari eight years ago.

St. Petersburg state Rep. Kathleen Peters is backing Montanari, as is St. Pete Free Clinic CEO Beth Haughton.

Montanari also nabbed a key endorsement from the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association.

With that kind of head start on campaigning it seems too daunting a task for someone to battle against at this point. But, then, you never know.

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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