St Pete City Council candidates meet at Suncoast Tiger Bay listen07/22/09 Seán Kinane
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Three St. Petersburg City Council races have more than two candidates. That requires them to compete in a primary election on September 1st. Candidates for district 5 - which includes Pinellas Point - and District 6 – which includes southeast St. Pete - faced off today at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in downtown.
Fourteen months ago Karl Nurse was appointed to fill the vacant District 6 seat on City Council. He was asked today why he would seek election to a district that has historically been represented by African-Americans.
One of Nurse’s opponents, USF student Derrick Frohne, did not attend the meeting. The third candidate in District 6, Vel Thompson, touted her city experience managing the neighborhood service team and organizing volunteers to paint homes.
Mayoral candidate Jamie Bennett currently represents the city’s southernmost district, District 5. All three candidates for his seat mentioned that crime prevention should be a priority of the next City Council. Joe Smith is a former police officer and football coach. Smith says he opposes new taxes and wants the Tampa Bay Rays to honor their contract to play at Tropicana Field until 2027.
Another District 5 candidate, Angela Rouson, is the wife of State Representative Darryl Rouson. She says the city can’t afford to abandon any revenue streams.
The third District 5 candidate is Steve Kornell. Kornell, who is gay, says that if elected to City Council he wants to be known for diversifying St. Pete’s economy and for promoting reading. Kornell also promised curbside recycling and enhanced public transit.
If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of votes in the September 1 primary election, the top two vote-getters in each district will face each other in the November 3 general election.