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Steve Kornell endorses Will Newton for City Council District 7

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

City Councilmember Steve Kornell has endorsed Will Newton for the District 7 race to replace term-limited council member Wengay Newton.

“For nearly two decades, I’ve seen firsthand the character and work ethic of Will Newton. Long before either of us were running for office, we were working together to make the Childs Park neighborhood a better place for the families that live there,” said Kornell. “I strongly endorse his candidacy and urge everyone to support him.”

This is Newton’s first endorsement from a current city councilmember.

“I am grateful for the support of my friend, Councilman Steve Kornell,” said Newton. “I look forward to continuing our work together over the coming years.”

One of Newton’s opponents, Lisa Wheeler-Brown, has already nabbed endorsements from two city councilmembers. Karl Nurse and Darden Rice both officially announced their endorsement of Wheeler-Brown this week, although both had already donated to her campaign.

Aaron Sharpe, another District 7 candidate, is endorsed by Council chair Charlie Gerdes.

Kornell is also running for re-election, but his re-election is considered all but guaranteed.

Newton currently serves as the district vice president for the Pinellas and Pasco Florida Professional Fire Fighters. Prior to that he served as a fire fighter and EMT for 23 years. He’s also a former president of the Child’s Park Neighborhood Association and was a member of Mayor Rick Kriseman’s Transitional Team Task Force.

Newton was awarded State of Florida Professional Fire Fighter of the Year in 2011.

Newton faces four challengers, including Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Aaron Sharpe, Sheila Scott Griffin and Lewis Stephens. The primary election is August 25.

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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