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Steve Kornell endorses Rene Flowers for Pinellas County Commission

Flowers is running to replace Ken Welch.

St. Petersburg City Council member Steve Kornell is endorsing Rene Flowers for Pinellas County Commission, Flowers announced Thursday.

Flowers, who currently serves as a Pinellas County School Board member, is running for the District 7 seat currently held by Ken Welch who is leaving office to run for St. Pete Mayor.

Flowers previously served as a St. Pete City Council member.

“I have know Rene since I became Supervisor of the Childs Park Recreation Center in the 90’s. I have seen her working tirelessly as a volunteer and as an elected official to make our city better for all, but especially for those who are most vulnerable,” Kornell said.

Flowers has worked and volunteered with youth employment and mentoring programs for more than 30 years.

“Rene is a strong advocate for families and children and she is the clear choice for the Pinellas County Commission,” Kornell added.

Kornell is serving his final days as a City Council member. He’s reached his term limit in his current seat and is leaving office in early January when his successor, Deborah Figgs-Sanders, is sworn in.

“Receiving the support and endorsement from Councilmember Steve Kornell is such an honor,” Flowers said. “Steve is passionate about housing, livable wages, the homeless, updating our sewers, the environment, and our youth which is evident by his strong support of the Lakewood High School Jazz Band.”

Kornell has not announced his plans after leaving council, but Flowers said she looks forward to working with him in whatever his new journey entails.

Flowers is currently facing former State Rep. Frank Peterman Jr. for the Democratic nomination for the County Commission seat. So far, no Republican has entered the race. District 7, which includes South St. Pete, is a heavily blue district.

Flowers has been aggressively campaigning since entering the race in November. She launched her campaign with more than 75 elected officials and community leaders. St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman endorsed her earlier this month and Flowers got off to an early fundraising lead over Peterman.

The primary election for the race is August 18.

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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