Richie Floyd, Jeff Danner to face off in District 8 Council race

Danner, Floyd

Local teacher Richie Floyd and former City Council member Jeff Danner will face off in November after advancing Tuesday night in the St. Petersburg City Council District 8 Primary Election.

Floyd got the largest chunk of the vote at 51%, followed by Danner, who collected 27%, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office. Now, the two are set to compete in the Nov. 2 General Election.

“I don’t know what to say,” Floyd wrote in a tweet. “Thank you so much to everyone who’s supported us! You have shown that when working people come together, we can build a better world! On to the general!”

“The voters of District 8 have spoken! We are moving on to November for the citywide general election,” Danner wrote in a Facebook post. “Thank you for all of your support that has gotten us this far! Really looking forward to having the chance to speak with more voters about my experience in City Hall, and how I’m going to put it to work for all of you once again.”

Although Floyd received 50% of the vote, City Council candidates must be voted on citywide, meaning the two candidates receiving the most votes in the Primary will be automatically placed on the Nov. 2 Municipal General Election ballot to be voted on at-large.

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The candidates are running to replace District 8 St. Pete City Council member Amy Foster, who is leaving office because of term limits.

The top two vote-getters ousted optometrist Dane Kuplicki, who garnered 12% of the vote, and small business owner Jamie Mayo, who received 10% of the vote.

Despite Danner’s familiarity on the Council as a no-party-affiliated moderate, he may be looking at a challenge from Floyd, a self-avowed progressive, especially considering Floyd’s strong showing with a majority of the vote in a four-way race.

Floyd brought in endorsements from outgoing incumbent Foster and Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowmanas well as backing from the Sierra Club and a bevy of unions.

Danner, meanwhile, brought in endorsements from Council Chair Ed Montanari, one of two Republicans who currently sit on the Council, as well as two former Council members Leslie Curran and Charlie Gerdes. Danner also nabbed the coveted Tampa Bay Times recommendation.

Floyd has also come out on top in the fundraising game, with his finance reports characterized by an abundance of small, individual donations. As of the latest finance report, Floyd raised $69,067 since entering the race in November 2020.

Danner, who entered the race at the end of May, served two terms on City Council, elected in 2005 and 2009. Two terms have passed since he left office, making the former Council member eligible to run again.

Floyd’s early entrance into the race helped him build momentum in funding, while Danner’s late start left him with little time to build a war chest. Danner has raised just $15,560 since he started campaigning.

Kuplicki, a Democrat, has collected $34,876 since he entered the race this Spring. Mayo brought in just $2,552 since entering the race.

The two candidates have similar campaign goals — tackle affordable housing, improve transportation and promote sustainable growth.

Floyd stands as the most progressive candidate with goals like expanding and improving public housing and increasing investment in community land trusts, as well as strengthening protections in the city’s Tenant Bill of Rights to protect renters from discrimination. Floyd also promotes social justice policies like ensuring protection against discrimination among LGBTQ residents, as well as incentivizing a $15 minimum wage and passing a fair-scheduling ordinance for businesses that would provide advanced scheduling to help workers manage work/life balance.

Danner sits in the middle as an independent, often mistaken for a Democrat. He has been campaigning on providing resources and shelter options for people experiencing homelessness and being more industrious with zoning. He also wants to invest in artist live/work spaces. Danner also hopes to encourage support and participation among local businesses in city matters, as well as promote “good growth” to maintain the city’s character.

Floyd will enter the General Election race with a funding advantage, with $45,940 on hand since the last report before the election.

Danner will likely have to have a big fundraising push after entering the most recent finance period with just $3,391 in available spending money.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]



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