Latest poll shows clear leaders in St. Pete City Council races

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In the upcoming St. Petersburg citywide elections, polling shows two City Council incumbents safely ahead in re-election bids, while two open districts have clear frontrunners going into November 5.

StPetePolls released a new study October 14, with 919 registered voters living within the city limits. Pollsters considered both early and likely voters in the calculations.

On two City Council races with sitting members, respondents said:

Incumbent Jim Kennedy is the favorite over his opponent in District 2, environmental activist Lorraine Margeson, by nearly 17 points. Kennedy gets 40.2 percent, to Margeson’s 23.3 percent, with 36.5 percent undecided. Early voters have overwhelmingly went to Kennedy — 50.1 to 29.8 percent for Margeson — a 20 point spread.

City Council chair Karl Nurse once again remains solidly over 50 percent for his entire campaign for District 6, leading Sharon Nurse by nearly 32 points — 52.4 percent to Russ’ 20.9 percent — with 26.8 percent undecided. In early voters, the spread widens to over 34 percent, with Nurse getting 61.4 percent to 27.1 for Russ.

For two vacant City Council races:

Civic activist Amy Foster (no relation to Mayor Bill) is maintaining a comfortable lead over businessman Steve Galvin in District 8. Foster gets 42.1 percent, 16.2 points ahead of Galvin, who gets 25.9 percent. Thirty-two percent remains undecided. Early voters leaned even further for Foster, who has an even 20 point lead over Galvin with them, 53.5 to 33.5 percent.

Three-time candidate Darden Rice is in the closest race in the city, but she still remains firmly in the lead for District 4 over former neighborhood association president Carolyn Fries. Rice is almost 11 points ahead of Fries — 40.4 to 29.6 percent. Here, an even 30 percent are undecided. Among likely voters in the at-large election, Rice widens her advantage to 11.5 percent, getting 37.4 percent to Fries’ 25.9 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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.