Former prosecutor Lisset Hanewicz and Raymond James executive Tom Mullins will go head-to-head in the St. Petersburg General Election after advancing in the Primary Election for the District 4 seat on City Council.
The two collected the most votes of the five-candidate field. Hanewicz garnered 42% of the vote, and Mullins took 23%, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office unofficial results. Now, the two will face off in the city’s General Election on Nov. 2.
“I’m so happy to report that we’ve won our primary election! Thank you to all the voters and my supporters for getting us to this point! Because of your help, we’re one step closer to making history here in St. Pete by electing the first Hispanic city councilmember in this city’s history,” Hanewicz said in a Facebook post. “I’m so honored by your encouragement over the last 7 months. I wouldn’t be in this position without your dedicated support and commitment to the future of our city.”
Following the top two vote-getters Tuesday night was bartender Clifford Hobbs III, who received 15% of the vote. Local tech entrepreneur Jarib Figueredo received 12% of the vote and private equity consultant Doug O’Dowd brought in less than 8%.
Candidates are running to replace Darden Rice, who is leaving office because of term limits and running for Mayor, a race she lost Tuesday night.
Throughout the race, Hanewicz led with a fundraising edge. The former prosecutor left her law practice in anticipation of her first child, a daughter. Two years later, she took on a new role as the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association president, where she worked to revitalize the group. The work, according to Hanewicz, is what prompted her to run for City Council.
The race has been fairly quiet compared to the raging mayoral contest that is hogging the spotlight, but Hanewicz has brought in an impressive nearly $80,000 for her bid. That’s about $24,000 more than her closest competitor in the funding race, Mullins. And it’s far more than the rest of the pack, where total earnings as of the first week of August landed anywhere from less than $7,000 to about $24,000.
“As a former state and federal prosecutor, I fought to keep our community safe. As president of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association, I brought our neighbors together to protect our green spaces and fix our streets and sidewalks,” Hanewicz says in a campaign ad, “St. Pete Values.”
Hanewicz worked for the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor. She also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Department of Justice for the Middle District of Florida. Hanewicz previously supported Rice in her reelection bid.
Affordable housing is among Hanewicz’s top campaign priorities.
Mullins, meanwhile, has been an executive with Raymond James since the late 1980s, leading the firm’s investment banking practice for the transport and infrastructure industries, where he has developed particular expertise in the environmental service and transport sectors.
“St. Petersburg is a thriving city, and with responsible leadership, there is more opportunity on the horizon than ever for every resident in every neighborhood. I’m running for City Council to bring inclusive, smart-growth policies that prepare St. Petersburg for a brighter future while maintaining our city’s diverse personality and superior quality of life and environment,” Mullins said when he announced his bid in late May.
Mullins is running as a fiscal conservative who wants to end what he describes as growth moratoriums that inhibit business.
The top two vote-getters surpassed the other candidates in fundraising, with Hobbs collecting just over $24,000 for his bid.