Lisa Wheeler-Bowman endorses Mark Oliver in HD 70

Mark Oliver
Oliver is running to replace Rep. Wengay Newton.

St. Petersburg City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman endorsed Mark Oliver in his bid for Florida House District 70.

Oliver is running to replace Rep. Wengay Newton who is not seeking reelection and instead is running for Pinellas County Commission.

“I have long supported the idea that the next generation is an untapped resource that is often overlooked. I’m honored to stand with Mark Oliver in his race for District 70 because his service will bring a fresh voice and new perspective to the Florida House of Representatives,” Wheeler-Bowman said.

“Mark has been a strong advocate for the disabled community, and I believe that he will continue to fight for other disenfranchised communities in Tallahassee. His commitment to public service, progressive and strategic leadership, and ability to find solutions gives me confidence that he is the best choice for voters.”

Oliver founded Specially Fit to provide fitness programs and mentorship to more than 400 students with disabilities to nine schools across central Florida.

Oliver was previously running for House District 59 to replace Rep. Adam Hattersley who is not seeking reelection in order to run in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. He left that race after Newton announced his intention to run for Pinellas County Commission.

Oliver has since moved to St. Pete and now lives in HD 70, where he grew up and hopes to expand services in his hometown.

“I am so thankful for the support received from Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman. She has served this community over several years and has fearlessly represented the residents in St. Petersburg,” Oliver said. “Her bold leadership and support inspire me to continue to fight for residents who feel left behind and voiceless. I look forward to working with her to solve issues surrounding housing that is affordable, livable wages and quality education.”

Oliver currently faces Keisha Ann Bell in the Democratic primary for the race, but is expected to also face Newton’s current legislative aide, Michelle Grimsley. Grimsley said she intends to run to succeed her boss, but has not yet filed for the race.

Oliver is the top fundraiser in the race so far, having brought in nearly $32,000. Bell has raised less than $12,000.

The winner in the Democratic primary will face Republican Sharon Russ in the general election. The district leans heavily Democratic, however, and Russ has not yet reported any fundraising activity despite entering the race last April.

House District 70 covers parts of south Pinellas County and parts of Manatee and Hillsborough counties.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].

One comment

  • Jim Donelon

    February 24, 2020 at 6:16 am

    Councilwoman Bowman has made an excellent choice. District 70 will be very lucky to have Oliver as their representative.

Comments are closed.


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