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Wengay Newton endorses his brother, Will Newton, for City Council

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

City Council member Wengay Newton has officially endorsed his brother, Winthrop “Will” Newton, to succeed him on the dais.

“He’s the real deal, and I’d be grateful if you would give him your VOTE,” Wengay Newton wrote on his Facebook page. “Will has worked with city and county officials for years, and lobbied the Legislature too. He knows government better than any other candidate.”

Because the two are brothers, it comes as little surprise that Newton would endorse his brother. What seems odd is that he waited so long. Will Newton filed election documents more than a month ago.

City Council member Steve Kornell even endorsed Will Newton before his own brother did.

Regardless, his plea to Facebook friends to vote for his brother was as sincere as it gets, showing a childhood photo of the two.

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve you for the past 8 years,” Newton wrote. “Now I need your HELP.”

Will Newton is running in a crowded five-way race for the District 7 seat currently held by his brother. He’s considered one of two front-runners. Newton’s most stiff competition comes from former Council of Neighborhood Associations president and community activist Lisa Wheeler-Brown.

The other three candidates are Aaron Sharpe, Lewis Stephens and Sheila Scott-Griffin.

Mail ballots have already gone out and can still be requested from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. The primary election is August 25 and is open to voters in District 7 only. The top two finishers of that election will move on to the citywide general election in November.

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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