I can't believe it has been nine days since I have posted here. I have been a little busy lately. I've been doing some bench building here in St. Petersburg. Some of you may have heard, we had a primary election in St. Pete on September 11th.
Actually not many people heard here in St. Pete either. The overall turnout was a paltry 11%. But we have strange elections here. We have four of our eight City Council seats up for election in November of this year. Primary elections were held in only two of those races. That's because these seats had more than two candidates. So on September 11th, the voters in those two districts chose the top two contenders to advance to the general election on November 6th. They will then join the candidates for the other two seats in a city wide election. Everybody clear on this? Voters within a district hold a primary to determine which two candidates advance to the city wide general election in November. Weird, huh?
What actually was a bit weird was how the primaries turned out. Not the actual results. They were fairly predictable. The real shocker was how most of the people voted. The majority of votes in this election were cast by mail. That's right, we essentially had a vote by mail election here in St. Petersburg. How about that?
Incumbent Council Member Jamie Bennett easily cruised into the general election in District 5 winning a full two thirds of the vote. He will face challenger Chris Kelly who received 19%. In the District 3 Primary, Ed Montanari led the four candidate pack with 42% of the vote. He was followed by Bill Dudley who garnered 30%. The disappointment here was that Cathy Harrelson failed to get through. Cathy was our hope to put another Democrat on the St. Petersburg City Council. Harrelson did manage to get 22%, but it was not enough. Well, we are most likely to retain the five out of eight Democratic majority on this allegedly non partisan Council.
The District 3 seat is going to remain in Republican hands as both Montanari and Dudley are Republicans. The District 5 and District 7 general election candidates are all registered Dems. In District 1, we have incumbent City Council Member Herb Poslon facing off against former Council Member Bob Kersteen. Polson is raising a bunch of money, way more than Kersteen. If he keeps that up, he will have no problem keeping that seat safely in the Dem column.
I am still going to be involved in 2 of the 4 races helping raise money. So I have just a bit of a breather here. But I wanted to let y'all know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Far from it. Last week I held fund raising events for each of my candidates and attended a fundie for Fairness for Florida's Families. That's the coalition that has formed to defeat the anti gay marriage constitutional amendment the wingers are going to put on the ballot for 2008. Nadine Smith gave a great talk at that event.
And I can not close without giving a shout out to Michael Hussey. His Pushing Rope Blog was just named Best Local Political Blog in the Tampa Bay area by Creative Loafing.
So Congrats to fellow Florida Kossack Michael Hussey!
And now it's time to go watch the Gators!