Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Lisa Wheeler-Brown is joined by her mom, Shirley Wheeler and stepdad, Harry Simmons, as she celebrates her victory over opponent Will Newton at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. Wheeler-Brown defeated Will Newton 58 percent to 42 percent in the District 7 race. "Running for politics is not for the weak-hearted," Wheeler-Brown said. "Every day is challenging, every day different and makes you nervous."

Election night in St. Petersburg: A photo compilation

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Election night in St. Petersburg saw the official end of several local races by incumbents and newcomers alike. Some campaigns were brief, others much longer and certainly more contentious.

Ed Montanari – a respected city activist – ran unopposed and easily won Bill Dudley’s term-limited seat. In contrast: Lisa Wheeler-Brown, another community activist, defeated Will Newton, the brother of a well-known city councilmember, in what was considered by many to be one of the most combative campaigns the city has seen in some time.

“Running for politics is not for the weak-hearted,” Wheeler-Brown told reporters after the polls closed. “Every day is challenging, every day different and makes you nervous.”

As campaigning ends, the real work — moving St. Petersburg into the future — begins.

Photojournalist Kimberly DeFalco made her way through the celebrations (and defeats) that marked the 2015 St. Petersburg Municipal Elections.

DeFalco files this photo compilation:

Will Newton supporters Gregory Wilson, Stephanie Bentley, Melissa Newton (wife of Wengay and sister-in-law to Will) and Will's campaign manager, Steve Lapinski await Newton's arrival at Ferg's Sports Bar. Newton lost to Lisa Wheeler-Brown 58 percent to 42 percent.
Will Newton supporters Gregory Wilson, Stephanie Bentley, Melissa Newton (wife of Wengay and sister-in-law to Will) and Will’s campaign manager, Steve Lapinski await Newton’s arrival at Ferg’s Sports Bar. Newton lost to Lisa Wheeler-Brown 58 percent to 42 percent.
Lisa Wheeler-Brown is joined by her mom, Shirley Wheeler and stepdad, Harry Simmons, as she celebrates her victory over opponent Will Newton at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. Wheeler-Brown defeated Will Newton 58 percent to 42 percent in the District 7 race. "Running for politics is not for the weak-hearted," Wheeler-Brown said. "Every day is challenging, every day different and makes you nervous."
Lisa Wheeler-Brown is joined by her mom, Shirley Wheeler and stepdad, Harry Simmons, as she celebrates her victory over opponent Will Newton at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum. Wheeler-Brown defeated Will Newton 58 percent to 42 percent in the District 7 race.
“Running for politics is not for the weak-hearted,” Wheeler-Brown said. “Every day is challenging, every day different and makes you nervous.”
Lisa Wheeler-Brown is joined by son, Chris Rhyne, before giving her acceptance speech at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
Lisa Wheeler-Brown is joined by son, Chris Rhyne, before giving her acceptance speech at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
Lisa Wheeler-Brown joins her stepdaughter Jakyra and husband, Steven as she celebrated her victory over Will Newton at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.
Lisa Wheeler-Brown joins her stepdaughter Jakyra and husband, Steven as she celebrated her victory over Will Newton at Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.
Ed Montanari is flanked by his niece Morgan Montanari (L) and sister-in-law Therese Montanari to celebrate at Green Bench Brewing. Montanari ran unopposed for Bill Dudley's seat, who was forced out by term limits.
Ed Montanari is flanked by his niece Morgan Montanari (L) and sister-in-law Therese Montanari to celebrate at Green Bench Brewing. Montanari ran unopposed for Bill Dudley’s seat, who was forced out by term limits.
Will Newton relaxed and tried not to show his disappointment as he received praise and condolences from his supporters at Ferg's Sports Bar. Newton conceded to Lisa Wheeler-Brown who defeated the Firefighter union leader 58 percent to 42 percent.
Will Newton relaxed and tried not to show his disappointment as he received praise and condolences from his supporters at Ferg’s Sports Bar. Newton conceded to Lisa Wheeler-Brown who defeated the Firefighter union leader 58 percent to 42 percent.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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