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Lisa Wheeler-Brown nabs backing from Ken Welch

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch has endorsed Lisa Wheeler-Brown for St. Peteresburg City Council.

“Lisa has the passion and character to serve. We have many issues that Pinellas County and the city of St. Pete will need to work together on, including the many aspects of the Redevelopment Plan being developed for the South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Area (CRA),” Welch said.

Wheeler-Brown is running to succeed District 7 incumbent Wengay Newton. Newton is not seeking re-election because of term limits and is instead running to replace Darryl Rouson in the state House.

Wheeler-Brown is the immediate past president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations for South Pinellas and has received multiple awards for her work on social justice issues in the community.

Most notably Wheeler-Brown is known for her advocacy in the wake of her son’s murder. In 2008, Cabretti Wheeler was murdered at age 21. Wheeler-Brown got involved with the police investigation after it stalled. With her help, her son’s killer was found and convicted.

She is active in lifting the “no snitching rule” that led to members of the community fearing coming forward with information in criminal cases that could help police.

Wheeler-Brown is also pushing working-class measures supported by the current administration.

“Fighting for living wage jobs and more sustainable jobs for all of St. Pete is my passion. The CRA is a focus of mine and I will work collaboratively with our city service centers, county leaders and businesses throughout St. Pete,” Wheeler-Brown said.

Prior to Welch’s endorsement, Wheeler-Brown was also endorsed by the SEIU labor union. Welch is a St. Pete resident, but doesn’t live in the district Wheeler-Brown is seeking. He lives just south in Lakewood Estates and is represented by District 5 incumbent Steve Kornell, also up for re-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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