Two former St. Petersburg City Council members are weighing in on this year’s races.
Karl Nurse and Jim Kennedy are endorsing Beth Connor in the District 5 race to replace term-limited Steve Kornell.
“I have known Beth for a long time, and she has been engaged on issues like affordable housing and climate change since before they became campaign buzzwords,” Nurse said. “She has a deep understanding of the issues that St. Petersburg faces, and we can trust her to make the right decisions that will move our City forward.”
Both Nurse and Kennedy left office due to term limits two years ago.
“Beth’s background and experience makes her the best choice for this District because she knows how to bring people together to achieve a common goal,” Kennedy said.
“She wants to bring more people into the process and connect more people to City Hall to ensure that the City is working for them. That’s true public service.”
Connor is running in a five-way race for the south St. Petersburg district, which includes Greater Pinellas Point, the Skyway Marina District, Lakewood Estates and some neighborhoods surrounding Lake Maggiore.
“I’m so honored to have the endorsement of these two wonderful public servants,” Connor said. “I look forward to representing everyone who lives in District 5 with the same enthusiasm and compassion demonstrated by these thoughtful leaders.”
Connor also has endorsements from the LGBTQ advocacy group Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County.
Connor’s top competition in the race is Deborah Figgs-Sanders and Trenia Cox. Figgs-Sanders is leading in campaign fundraising, but Connor and Cox aren’t far behind and are both aggressively campaigning.
Also running are Uhuru supporter Anne Hirsch and perennial candidate Philip Garrett.
Connor is a long-time environmental activist who works as a paralegal.
Kornell has represented the district since 2010. He served a partial term following his first election in 2009, giving him two extra years in office.
The district has unique challenges among others in the city. Outside the downtown core, Kornell lobbied hard for more attention, including through major economic development initiatives in the Skyway Marina District. T
he city also has pockets of poverty juxtaposed with affluent areas, which often leaves those areas off the radar compared to the other south St. Pete district, District 7.
The five candidates face each other in the August 27 primary election. The top two vote-getters will square off in the November 5 general election. The primary is only open to registered voters who live within the district. All St. Pete voters can cast a ballot in the general election.