‘Stop the Lens’ organizer Lorraine Margeson to challenge incumbent Jim Kennedy for City Council seat

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Lorraine Margeson, a prominent environmental activist and an outspoken member of  the ‘Stop the Lens’ movement, has filed to challenge District 2 incumbent Jim Kennedy, setting the stage for a high-profile referendum on the popularity of the St. Petersburg City Council. 

Margeson, “is probably Tampa Bay’s best-known environmental activist,” according to a profile of her in 2010 by the Tampa Bay Times‘ Jeff Klinkenberg. “She is a pint-sized buzz saw. She cusses, she threatens, she shouts. She writes e-mails overflowing with capital letters and exclamation points. She is afraid of nobody except maybe her mother, who sometimes asks ‘Have you been smoking?’ at which time Margeson answers by blaming her nicotine-fiend husband, Don, for the cancer-stick smell.”

Sounds like she would be perfect for a City Council unable to organize much more than a two-car parade.

According to someone who spoke today with Margeson, the City Clerk at first would not accept Margeson’s candidacy paperwork because she may not have been a resident of District 2 for the requisite amount of time. According to Margeson, the issue about her residency is still being examined.

Kennedy was first appointed in October 2007 to the District 2 seat, which encompasses the northernmost portions of the city, before winning election in 2009.

When Kennedy filed for re-election in February, I wrote then, “The only trouble I could see Kennedy running into is if the “Stop the Lens” crowd puts together a slate of candidates able to use the debate over the new Pier as a springboard to election.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.