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St. Pete trial attorney Augie Ribeiro officially files for SD 19 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Agostinho J. Ribeiro, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the law firm of Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith based in Danbury, Connecticut, and St. Petersburg, has filed as a Democrat to run in the Florida State Senate District 19 race.

FloridaPolitics.com initially reported he would do so on Wednesday. Ribeiro filed his qualifying papers on Thursday.

His entry will certainly shake up the SD 19 race, where Democrats Ed Narain, Betty Reed and Darryl Rouson are competing against each for the nomination on Aug. 30. The winner of the Democratic primary in the overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning district is expected to win the race in November.

Narain, who currently serves in the Florida House District 61 seat, has been the early leader in fundraising in the race, but Ribeiro may be able to spend a lot of his own funds to get himself competitive quickly in the race.

The district encompasses both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, but much more centered in Hillsborough. That’s why some analysts thought it was surprising when a recent St. Pete Polls survey showed Rouson leading the race, with Reed second and Narain third.

Ribeiro is a New York City native, and his law firm represented victims of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks at no cost after the 9/11 attacks. They also represented St. Pete Beach in the BP oil spill disaster.

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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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