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Lisa Wheeler-Brown to host general election kickoff party September 17

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council candidate Lisa Wheeler-Brown will celebrate the path toward November’s general election during a kickoff party September 17 at the St. Petersburg Society of Friends Meeting House located at 130 9th Avenue Southeast.

The kickoff is hosted by Pinellas County Commissioners Ken Welch and Pat Gerard, School Board member Rene Flowers, City Council members Karl Nurse and Darden Rice, Old Southeast Neighborhood Association president Pete Olivares, Old Northeast Neighborhood Association president R. John Siebert, Harris Park Neighborhood Association president Judy Landon and Highland Oak Neighborhood Association president Faye Jackson.

Residents Scott and Suzanne Snurpus and Lucinda and Howard Johnston are also hosting the event.

Wheeler-Brown is asking for help moving her campaign forward, writing in an email she needs more volunteers to make phone calls on the campaign’s behalf and knock on doors across the city. Of course, Wheeler-Brown will also need to raise more funds. The first treasurer’s reports of the general election campaign aren’t due until Friday, but as of the last report during the primary election, Wheeler-Brown’s funds had depleted to less than what her opponent, Will Newton, had on hand.

She hinted at donations in the campaign email, saying there would need to be more signs put in yards and more mail in mailboxes.

Newton has enjoyed recent endorsements from defeated candidate Sheila Scott-Griffin and from City Council member Bill Dudley, giving him what could be an edge in the conservative vote. However, Wheeler-Brown’s support from major neighborhoods like Old Southeast and Kenwood could give her an advantage in those areas.

Wheeler-Brown will also likely benefit from two key endorsements from both the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune.

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 Patch.com 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 janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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