Daniel Soronen officially announces St. Pete City Council bid in District 7

Daniel Soronen copy
Three candidates are running to replace Brother John Muhammad.

Daniel Soronen, a local restaurateur, is officially announcing his campaign for St. Petersburg City Council, District 7.

Soronen filed for the race Feb. 7, but is making it public now. 

Soronen, who opened the popular Old Northeast Tavern and now owns The Catalyst on 22nd St. South, has lived in St. Pete for nearly 20 years. He said he’s running, at least in part, to improve the city’s permitting and licensing process for entrepreneurs and homeowners, a process he became familiar with “over the years of dealing with our building department.”

In a campaign announcement, Soronen listed several areas where he would focus his service if elected. 

That includes what he describes as “entrepreneurial prosperity,” pledging to “spearhead initiatives to fuel economic growth” and “ensuring every small business has the opportunity to thrive.”

Soronen also wants to ensure obtaining a permit takes just 28 days, establish a “common sense” zoning approval process, safeguard Community Redevelopment Area funds by using them only on “appropriate” expenditures, and establish an intentional revitalization plan in the city’s commercial corridors.

Soronen also said he wants to boost community unity through fostering a more connected and inclusive St. Pete. He said that begins with creating attainable housing opportunities and improving youth safety and opportunity. 

Soronen wants to establish city programs offering zero-interest loans, subsidizing sports programs and enhancing community policing. 

In addition to his restaurant endeavors, Soronen is also a licensed Realtor and works with the Urban Collective, the entity that manages the Manhattan Casino in The Deuces 22nd St. South corridor.

He threw his name in the hat previously to represent District 7 after former City Council member Lisa Wheeler-Bowman resigned from the seat due to a residency conflict. City Council ultimately appointed Brother John Muhammad to the seat. Muhammad announced earlier this month he would not seek election to the seat.

At the time, Soronen lamented previous leadership in the district, arguing that Wheeler-Bowman “never even entered the Manhattan Casino as we begged her for help to keep this vital piece of community history alive and available,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

Soronen so far faces former NC State football star Donald Bowens Jr. and former City Council member Wengay Newton. Newton served two full terms before Wheeler-Bowman, but it has been more than two terms since he served and he is therefore eligible to run again.

District 7 is majority Black, with more than 9,000 registered Black voters compared to fewer than 7,000 White voters. Soronen is White. Newton and Bowens are Black. 

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].


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