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SEIU backs Barclay Harless for St. Pete City Council

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In what Barclay Harless‘ campaign hopes will be a game changer, the Service Employees International Union Florida Public Services Union (SEIUFPSU) announced it’s endorsing him for St. Petersburg City Council District 2.

Harless, a 31-year-old banker, is facing Realtor Brandi Gabbard for the seat that encompasses northern St. Petersburg and the Gandy area.

“Our organization has decided to get behind Barclay Harless in this important St. Pete election because we believe he shares a common vision for St. Petersburg and our values,” said Rick Smith, with the SEIU Florida Public Services Union. “Barclay has the local experience needed to be successful on council and fight to maintain the progress that has been made. He is committed to stand for policies aimed at affordable housing, reducing crime and protecting workers rights.”

The Harless-Gabbard race hasn’t received that much attention to date because their race to succeed term-limited Jim Kennedy won’t take place until November.

“I’m not just here to talk about making St. Pete affordable,” Harless said in a statement. “It is a key priority of mine while continuing to fight for living wage jobs and fixing our infrastructure. Our campaign is gaining substantial support from voters who have confidence in my fresh perspective and I will not support policies that take us backward.”

Nick Janovsky, Harless’ campaign manager, considers the SEIU endorsement one of the biggest developments in the race since he says they will have thousands of their members who will work to support Harley in the race.

A St. Pete Polls survey released Tuesday again showed Gabbard leading Harless, 30 to 16 percent. However, more than 50 percent of those surveyed had no idea who they would vote for, which certainly gives hope to the Harless camp that they can make up ground between now and November.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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