Former mayoral candidate Pete Boland endorses Copley Gerdes for City Council

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The endorsement is bipartisan.

Former St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Pete Boland has endorsed Copley Gerdes for the District 1 seat on City Council.

Boland, a local restaurateur was ousted in the August Primary, coming in fifth. He did manage to garner notable attention even as a political outsider.

“In these trying times in our world and with all the issues facing our city, partisan politics must be set aside. We need pragmatic, earnest, honest, passionate people in public service,” Boland said in a statement. “We need people like Copley Gerdes who have a deep love for St. Pete and its people. We need humble servants who have an open mind with a strong desire to serve the people’s interests.”

Although the race is nonpartisan, party affiliations are no secret. This endorsement crosses party lines, with Boland a registered Republican and Gerdes a Democrat.

“Pete is a valuable voice as a small business owner and a community leader,” Gerdes said in a statement. “This campaign is about bringing people together to solve the issues we face and rejecting the divisive rhetoric that poisons our political discourse. I’m proud to have Pete on our team and I’m grateful for all of his contributions to our city.”

Gerdes is running for the District 1 seat covering West St. Pete to replace City Council member Robert Blackmon. This year, the seat is up for Special Election alongside regular City Council races because Blackmon resigned to run for Mayor.

Gerdes is the son of former City Council member Charlie Gerdes, who represented the district for eight years before Blackmon succeeded him.

Gerdes has earned endorsements from six of the eight sitting Council members.

Gerdes faces lobbyist Bobbie Shay Lee in the Nov. 2 General Election. Lee is a registered Republican.

Gerdes finished statistically tied with Lee in the four-way Primary Election on Aug. 24 with about 34% of the vote each.

District 1 is one of only two City Council districts with a Republican advantage, though the difference between GOP and Democratic voters is negligible at 8,395 to 8,087, according to data from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. That advantage for conservative candidates disappears in the General Election, when the race will be open citywide. There, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 38,000 voters.

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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