Cops, former city leaders back Torrie Jasuwan as she seeks to oust Deborah Figgs-Sanders
Image via Torrie Jasuwan

Torrie Jasuwan
'She has the skills to achieve in office from day one, as she has done in so many situations throughout her career.'

Torrie Jasuwan, a self-described “mompreneur” running for St. Petersburg City Council in District 5, has landed three new endorsements that should resonate with the district’s more conservative or right-of-center voters.

The Suncoast Police Benevolent Association, former Mayor Rick Baker, and former City Council member and once-mayoral candidate Robert Blackmon are all offering their support for the community advocate.

“Torrie Jasuwan is passionate about the sacrifices made by police officers, their spouses, and their children,” Suncoast PBA President Jonathan Vasquez said.

“We are impressed by her commitment to service, including her over 12 years of work on the St. Petersburg Pearson-Patterson Police Officer of the Year Awards Committee, and her advocacy to make essential items like diapers available to families in need. Torrie will be a zealous advocate and a fresh voice for our St. Petersburg Police Department members.”

Vasquez referenced a nonprofit organization Jasuwan founded, Babycycle, which provides diapers to more than 250,000 families in need each year. Jasuwan has also been a vocal advocate at the state level for tax-free diapers, successfully working with Sen. Lauren Book and Rep. Anna Eskamani to eliminate the tax in Florida.

Baker, a former Mayor who served in the first decade of the 2000s, pointed to what he perceives as Jasuwan’s ability to bring a fresh perspective to modern challenges and opportunities facing the city.

“We need leaders who will work to improve the lives of our citizens by focusing on the qualities that make St. Petersburg a great city,” Baker said. “Waterfront parks, strong neighborhoods, available housing, safe streets, a vibrant downtown, and jobs — Torrie Jasuwan has the energy, experience, and passion to do these things. I am honored to endorse her.”

Blackmon, himself a businessman and real estate professional, lauded Jasuwan’s experience. A Pinellas County native, Jasuwan is a small-business owner and real estate broker with Luxe properties International. Jasuwan and a business partner, Jeanette Secor, also recently oversaw the remodeling and rebranding of Two Mermaids Resort in Treasure Island.

“Our city has a laundry list of upcoming big ticket expenses, including a new municipal marina, stadium site, municipal services center, and ongoing infrastructure maintenance. At the same time, the cost of living in St. Pete continues to rise. Utility rates and property taxes keep going up, and inflation isn’t going down. Citizens are feeling the squeeze,” Blackmon said.

“More than ever, we need real world business experience on our City Council to help move St. Petersburg forward, without leaving our citizens behind.”

Blackmon also called Jasuwan a “pragmatic problem solver.”

“She has the skills to achieve in office from day one, as she has done in so many situations throughout her career. Our city and residents will benefit from her proven track record of business and leadership success,” he added.

The trio of endorsements, from a pro-law enforcement group and two registered Republicans, could help Jasuwan shore up support from conservative or moderate voters in District 5 and, with Baker’s nod specifically, might also boost her support among the district’s Black voters. Baker was beloved among the city’s Black community when he served from 2001 to 2010.

Though City Council races are nonpartisan, meaning party affiliations won’t appear on the ballot and candidates are barred from discussing their political affiliation, Jasuwan is a registered Democrat. Of the district’s nearly 22,000 voters, more than half — 11, 720 — are Democrats while less than 5,000 each are registered Republicans or registered without party affiliation. Still, those nearly 10,000 voters could make a difference in a tight race.

As the incumbent, Figgs-Sanders has an inherent edge in the race. But Jasuwan is giving her a run for her money. While the incumbent has raised more money, it’s not by much, and with City Council contests typically being lower-budget than other higher profile races, both have considerable funds with which to sway voters.

Figgs-Sanders, as of March 31, had raised more than $72,000, with about $64,000 left on hand. Jasuwan has raised just under $61,000 as of the end of March, with about $50,000 left on hand.

The latest endorsements follow several others, including most recently from former City Council members Jay Lasita, who served in the late 90s and early 2000s, and Jim Kennedy who served more recently. She has several other nods from predecessors on the dais, including former City Council members Jamie Bennett, Jeff Danner, Kathleen Ford, Karl Nurse, Darden Rice and Larry Williams. She also secured support from Treasure Island Mayor Tyler Payne and former St. Pete Mayor Bob Ulrich.

“I am humbled by the strong support of so many friends from our city to help us get our message to the voters of St Petersburg. I am energized by the support from so many different people and diverse groups throughout our city. This early support of esteemed community leaders and money lead will help us spread our message of Unity, Progress and Fresh Ideas for St Petersburg,” Jasuwan said in a written statement.

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].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704