Ziya Kardas has becomes the ninth candidate filing to run for the St. Petersburg City Council District 6 race.
The USFSP graduate student and small-business person is seeking to succeed term-limited Karl Nurse later this year.
“I am running because I believe in public service and I believe in St. Petersburg,” says the 26-year-old St. Pete native.
Kardas is currently finishing his MBA this summer at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. He also manages Pro-Shield Roof Restoration and a real estate development firm.
“I understand this city’s story in a way that many others do not,” he tells FloridaPolitics.com in an email Monday. “As a father, I hope to make the city a better place for my five-year-old son, Maddox, to live in and enjoy. I had our education system fail me, I watched our justice system fail my single mother. I understand what a lot of people are going through from all walks of life, and it is not limited to my district, but the entire city of St. Petersburg and beyond.”
Kardas says that he’s entering the race because none of the eight other candidates who have already filed to run have shown him that they can represent the district “in the way that I can.”
After being elected student body president at USFSP a year ago (he ran unopposed) Kardas then resigned from the position earlier this year without explanation. The Crow’s Nest reported that he “mysteriously” took of leave of absence six months after being elected.
Calling himself an environmental advocate, Kardas says he supported many green initiatives during his time at USFSP.
The District 6 field is a crowded one, with Justin Bean, Eritha “Akile” Caisson, Gina Driscoll, Corey Givens Jr., Jim Jackson, Sharon Russ, James Scott, and Maria Scruggs are all in the running.
When asked if he was concerned about his relatively late entry in the race, Kardas says he believes that there are advantages to entering at this time, and believes he comes into the race with a lot of support.
“I know multiple candidates running. However, I offer some things that no other candidate currently offers,” he says. “There are candidates who are ill prepared for this campaign, and the ones that were prepared don’t hold the support of the majority of District 6, they are more niche candidates. I also know that my running will increase voter turnout from individuals who would otherwise not have participated in the election.”
The District 6 primary election takes place August 29.