The Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections reports that 15% of St. Petersburg voters have cast a ballot in the city’s municipal elections, which are set for Nov. 2.
On the ballot are the city’s mayoral election, four City Council contests and seven charter amendments.
Of the 28,112 mail-in ballots returned so far, Democrats cast 14,722, 8,411 were cast by Republicans and 4,979 came from third party or nonpartisan voters, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office. There are 185,035 eligible, active voters in the city.
Democrats represent the largest share of the St. Pete electorate. According to the most recent voter registration data from the elections office, the city of St. Pete has 88,055 registered Democrats and 49,527 registered Republicans.
Former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch and St. Pete City Council member Robert Blackmon are running for Mayor. After receiving the highest number of votes in the August Primary, the pair advanced to the General Election — Welch grabbed the top spot with 39% of the vote, and Blackmon clenched the No. 2 spot with 29%.
The winner will replace incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is leaving office because of term limits. Kriseman has endorsed Welch as his successor.
Financial planner Copley Gerdes and breast cancer awareness advocate and former lobbyist Bobbie Shay Lee will be on the ballot for a chance at the City Council District 1 seat. The race is a Special Election scheduled concurrently with the city’s regular municipal races for even-numbered districts and Mayor; that race is to replace outgoing City Council member Blackmon, who resigned to run for Mayor.
The City Council District 4 contest features former prosecutor Lisset Hanewicz and Raymond James executive Tom Mullins. The two seek to replace Darden Rice, who is leaving office because of term limits and ran unsuccessfully for Mayor.
In the District 8 race, Richie Floyd, a local teacher, faces former City Council member Jeff Danner. They are running to replace District 8 St. Pete City Council member Amy Foster, who is also leaving office because of term limits.
District 6 is the only race to include an incumbent, with City Council member Gina Driscoll facing Mhariel Summers.
While voters in the Primary Election could only cast a ballot for candidates within their City Council district, the General Election races will be voted on citywide.