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St. Pete City Council candidate Aaron Sharpe launches website

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete City Council candidate Aaron Sharpe has launched a campaign website.

In an email announcement Thursday morning, Sharpe asked for supporters to visit the website, where donors can give or sign up to volunteer or host an event.

“With less than 60 days to the primary election we need your help just as much as ever,” Sharpe wrote. “Please consider supporting the campaign.”

The website’s home page has a blue banner at the top with “Sharpe” in a white and orange half-moon. The words “opportunities for all” is emblazoned in bold across the banner with a selfie of Sharpe and his family at the top right hand side.

The campaign slogan “opportunities for all” is key to Sharpe’s bid for the District 7 seat being vacated by incumbent Wengay Newton due to term limits. The district contains some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, including Midtown and Child’s Park.

Priorities in that District, which also includes Sharpe’s Pasadena Bear Creek neighborhood, tend to be focused on neighborhood stabilization, revitalization and improving job opportunities for residents as well as educational and outreach opportunities for youth.

On Sharpe’s home page he lists six commitments including “dedicating each and every day to make a difference.” He also lists promises to consider how decisions will impact opportunity, maintain accountability and transparency and remaining fiscally responsibly.

Celebrating diversity is the second to last on Sharpe’s list of commitments.

Another tab called “My Commitments” restates those priorities and adds creating opportunities for residents, business and neighborhoods.

A “character” tab has a letter from Sharpe explaining his background and why he’s running for council.

“The short answer is I am seeking the City Council seat for District 7 because it is the right thing to do. People use different terms here — whatever you want to call it — however you would say it, karma, the stars or God’s will, everything I have done in the past has brought me here today to this point asking for your support and your vote,” Sharpe wrote.

The “supporters” tab doesn’t have anyone listed yet, telling visitors only to “check back for updates.”

Sharpe is the co-president of his neighborhood association and the founder of a local nonprofit. Sharpe’s professional background is in banking. He now owns his own consulting business.

Sharpe also chairs the city’s code enforcement board.

The District 7 race is crowded with five candidates running to replace Newton. Sharpe faces likely front-runner Lisa Wheeler-Brown, who is well-known in the District for her community activism to eliminate the “no snitching” atmosphere.

Newton’s brother, Will Newton, is also running and will likely benefit from name recognition.

The two other candidates are Sheila Scott Griffin and Elvert Lewis Stephens.

This race will be the only one to appear on the August 25 primary ballot. Two of the five will move on to the general 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 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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