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.