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Jeff Brandes, Darryl Rouson endorse Ed Montanari for re-election

“He’s a tireless worker who understands the unique needs of the City of St. Petersburg.”

State Sens. Jeff Brandes and Darryl Rouson are endorsing St. Petersburg City Council member Ed Montanari for re-election, the two announced Wednesday.

Brandes and Rouson both represent portions of St. Pete in the Florida Legislature.

“I’ve known Ed for many years, and I’m proud to endorse his campaign for St. Petersburg City Council,” Brandes said. “He’s a tireless worker who understands the unique needs of the City of St. Petersburg and I have no doubt he will continue to fight every day to make our great city even better.”

Montanari is seeking a second term in office for District 3, which covers parts of northeast St. Pete. Montanari was first elected without opposition in 2015. So far, Montanari is running again without opposition.

“I’m proud to endorse Ed Montanari for St. Petersburg City Council,” Rouson said. “He’s a natural leader who always puts people and community before politics. I look forward to continuing to work together for our City.”

Montanari currently serves as the vice chair of the City Council as well as chair of the Budget, Finance and Taxation and Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations committees. He’s also the vice chair of the Public Services and Infrastructure Committee and sits on the Health, Energy, Resiliency and Sustainability.

“I’m honored to have the support of Sen. Brandes and Sen. Rouson,” Montanari said. “They are both principled leaders who know how to get things done. I’ve enjoyed working with them on many important issues, and I look forward to continuing our work together to improve the lives of every family in the City of St. Petersburg.”

Though City Council seats are nonpartisan, Montanari is the only Republican on the eight-member board. Despite that, he’s gaining bipartisan support. Brandes is a Republican and Rouson is a Democrat. Montanari’s colleagues, Amy Foster and Brandi Gabbard, have both also endorsed him.

Montanari has lived in St. Pete since 1976. He works as a commercial airline pilot for American Airlines and formerly served in the U.S. Air Force where he piloted F-16 fighter aircraft.

Qualifying for this year’s City Council races begins June 6 and runs through June 21. If no one files to run against Montanari before that time, he’ll be elected. If Montanari does draw a challenger, the St. Pete primary election is August 27 with the general election November 5.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com 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 die-hard 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 contentious issues surrounding transit. 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 a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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