A last minute mailer hitting mailboxes in St. Pete’s District 7 Saturday touts City Council candidate Will Newton’s challenged youth living with a struggling single mother in an effort to relate to voters in the city’s most troubled district.
“Mine is a story not too different from most people who come from a large family,” Newton wrote on the back on a campaign mailer. “You watch someone go to work every day. You witness a strong work ethic and a passion of caring for others.”
Newton highlights in a brief narrative how his mother was a divorced mother with eight children to raise who “worked a lot” and implored each of the kids to “look out for each other.”
“That’s how responsibility came naturally to me,” Newton wrote. “She repeatedly told me I would have to take charge if anything happened to her. She died while I was still in high school. I made the funeral arrangements and began raising my young nephew, who lived with us.”
Newton wrote that he is “someone who comes from where you come from.” He touts government assistance programs that many of the constituents in his district rely on as tools that helped him succeed citing specifically food stamps, welfare, Head Start and a summer job through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act.
Newton has highlighted the importance of not just living wage jobs for residents in the community struggling with unemployment and underemployment, but also summer jobs to keep youth off the streets and provide them with valuable learning tools.
“There is a part of our beautiful city that seems out of reach for most people in District 7,” Newton wrote. “With your vote, I will work tirelessly to make that dream a reality.”
On the other side of Newton’s mailer there are quotes from four key endorsements including Council members Amy Foster and Steve Kornell and State Representative Darryl Rouson. Newton’s brother, Council member Wengay Newton, is also quoted endorsing him. Wengay Newton is leaving council due to term limits. His brother is running to replace him.
Voters who haven’t already voted by mail will hit the polls Tuesday for the five-way Primary Election between Newton, Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Sheila Scott-Griffin, Aaron Sharpe and Lewis Stephens. The top two vote-getters will move on the the November 3 Primary.
According to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, 1,775 mail ballots have been returned to date of a total 6,234 that were mailed.