Clearwater Vice Mayor Jay Polglaze formally began his re-election campaign Tuesday night.
Around 50 friends and supporters showed up at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort to lend their support to the 58-year-old Republican and 35-year Clearwater resident.
Polglaze currently holds seat 3 on Clearwater City Council, having first been elected to the post in February of 2012, after running unopposed.
He also doubles as the city’s vice mayor, a position he took over from fellow council member — and seat 2 holder — Doreen Hock-DiPolito in 2015.
“I think we’ve made some great strides and great progress these last four years,” said Polglaze his supporters. “[But] we’re not quite done yet. We’ve got some more things to take care of. And with your support — by working with you, and for you — I think we can get there.”
This time around, however, Polglaze won’t be running unopposed. He’ll be going up against independent Robert Stanley Cundiff.
So far — and while noting how young each candidate’s campaign is (each are only a month in) — Polglaze has a comfortable fundraising lead over his opponent, having raised $3,200, compared to Cundiff’s $200.
Polglaze does have quite a bit more support from area politicians though. His campaign is being run by Sen. Jack Latvala and Latvala’s son, state Rep. Chris Latvala. While the incumbent’s host committee includes — among many others — Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Tax Collector Diane Nelson and Pinellas County Commissioners Janet Long, Charlie Justice and John Morroni.
“I absolutely still love this city,” concluded Polglaze to his supporters. “My passion is greater today than it was four years ago.”
Before getting into politics, Polglaze — a U.S. Army veteran — spent 29 years as an employee of the U.S. Postal Service. He’s also served on Clearwater’s Downtown Development Board. And twice he’s been a member of the Clearwater Charter Review Committee.
Currently he volunteers as an executive board member for the American Cancer Society of Pinellas County, and as a member on the Citizens Advisory Council to the Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Election Day for Clearwater City Council seats 1, 2 and 3 will be on March 15, 2016.