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John Hornbeck hires another campaign staffer as momentum builds

Kofi Hunt is a progressive with Fight for $15.

St. Petersburg City Council candidate John Hornbeck is continuing to gain momentum in his race for District 1 against Robert Blackmon.

Hornbeck this week hired another campaign staffer to manage the campaign’s outreach and social media strategy.

Hornbeck hired longtime St. Pete activist and consultant Kofi Hunt. Hunt is the political director for Fight for 15 Florida, a group that supports raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Prior to that he worked as a community organizer for the Service Employee International Union of Florida.

Hunt has worked on several state House campaigns as well as Congressional and state Senate campaigns. None of the candidates he worked with won their races, but all but one were Democrats running in districts considered safe seats for Republicans.

“If someone fits my values and is a progressive, I’m always open to helping them run the strongest campaign we can build together,” Hunt said.

Hunt’s hire comes days after Hornbeck also hired a field organizer, Alec Reynolds.

Voters are also getting pro-Hornbeck fliers in the mail this week.

Hornbeck sent a flier touting two of his three endorsements as well as his “progressive” policies.

Hornbeck is a Democrat. His opponent, Blackmon, is a Republican.

“Councilman Charlie Gerdes endorsed, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved,” the front of the flyer reads, referencing Gerdes’ endorsement and Kriseman’s non-endorsement statement saying he supported and approved of Gerdes’ pick.

The front of the flyer shows a photo of Hornbeck alongside his name as “the right pick for St. Pete.”

The back of the flyer references Hornbeck’s “progressive ideas” and “St. Pete roots.” Hornbeck is a life-long resident of St. Pete in District 1, which represents District 1.

The mailer includes three campaign priorities — expand access to affordable housing, increase access to after school and summer youth programs and protecting St. Pete’s environment through prioritizing sewage and other infrastructure investments.

Election Day is November 5. The general election is open to voters citywide.

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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