Lindsay Cross lands bipartisan support from current, former Mayors

'Representative Lindsay Cross has been standing up for Pinellas residents and for local leaders, and we need her to continue that important work.'

Democratic Rep. Lindsay Cross is facing what will likely be a highly partisan re-election campaign against Republican Ed Montanari. But the House District 60 Representative is showing she has what it takes to reach across the aisle with a new slate of bipartisan endorsements from current and former local Mayors who span the political spectrum.

The new endorsements include four Republicans, two Democrats and two nonpartisans.

The Republicans include Largo Mayor Woody Brown, Oldsmar Mayor Dan Saracki, North Redington Beach Mayor Bill Queen and former Redington Beach Mayor Nick Simons. Democratic endorsers are former Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy, who is now seeking an open seat on the Pinellas County Commission, and former St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson.

Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson is not affiliated with a party, but was previously registered as a Democrat. Indian Shores Mayor Pat Soranno is also unaffiliated.

“Rep. Cross embodies Pinellas Public Service,” Brown said. “For as long as I’ve known her, she’s been a passionate advocate for our local environment. In Tallahassee, she now fights to protect home rule and give Pinellas communities a say in their own governance.”

Henderson oversees a coastal city where flooding and storm surge have become increasing problems. He noted Cross’ dedication as an environmental scientist to combating such effects.

“I’ve worked with Representative Cross for over a decade and she has proven to be a powerful advocate for environmental resilience, social justice and a sustainable economy.  I am proud to support Lindsay and grateful for her dedication to strengthening local communities,” Henderson said.

Saracki similarly praised Cross for being “a great environmental champion,” adding that “she’s been able to work across the aisle to deliver common sense solutions for Florida.”

Queen based his support on something different though — efforts, largely driven by Republicans in Tallahassee, to erode home rule.

“Local governments are here to protect and empower their citizens, but Tallahassee has made that more difficult. Representative Lindsay Cross has been standing up for Pinellas residents and for local leaders, and we need her to continue that important work,” he said.

Cross is facing a credible challenge from Montanari, a current St. Petersburg City Council member who will enjoy broad name recognition in HD 60, which is anchored in St. Pete.

The bipartisan support will go a long way in a district with a quickly evaporating Democratic advantage.

A look at historic voter registration data for the district available on the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website shows that in 2020, the last Presidential Election year, Democrats had a 7-percentage-point registration advantage over Republicans. As of May 1, that advantage has shrunk to just under 3 percentage points.

Still, Democrats do maintain an edge in the district, even if it’s shrinking, and Cross is taking her race seriously.

She has a six-figure cash advantage over Montanari, as of the most recently available finance reports. The Democrat has raised more than $295,000 to defend her seat, and has more than $268,000 on hand between her campaign and political committee, Moving Pinellas Forward.

Montanari, himself a strong fundraiser, outraised Cross in April in May, but hasn’t caught up to her overall cash advantage. He has a little more than $123,000 on hand.

Her latest endorsements come after a group of current and former Pinellas Park officials also offered their support, including Vice Mayor Keith Sabiel, City Council members Tim Caddell and Patti Reed, former City Council member Rick Butler, former Police Chief Michael Haworth and local business owner Housh Ghovaee.

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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  • Candace

    July 10, 2024 at 2:07 am

    This is so great. Lindsay is a dedicated public servant and one of the most well-spoken, hardworking members in the Florida House. Ed Montanari has been a good fit for St. Pete, but we don’t need him in the Legislature. Lord help us all if we lose any more tough, articulate women who actually get things done..

    We have enough people just like Ed already keeping the benches warm in Tallahassee – politicians who say they’re going to fight for “bipartisan solutions” during election season, but who go to Tallahassee and forget all the promises they made when they were begging people to vote for them.
    We’ve been told for years that people just like Ed Montanari would fight for us in Tallahassee, but look around. Has he fought much on the city council? I don’t see or hear of anyone’s insurance rates going down, and I know the water quality isn’t better in St. Pete. Better yet, check out their affordable housing situation and tell me how Ed has helped with that. Give me one example of how he’s made life better for the community with all the time he’s had to prove himself. I’ll bet you can’t.
    The fact is, every other Pinellas County legislator in the Florida House voted for laws that have kept our insurance rates sky-high while they bantered about things like a “Rush Limbaugh highway” and how to punish homeless people, outdoor laborers, and Mickey Mouse.
    We’ve got more than enough inflated egos and deaf ears filling seats in the Florida Legislature.
    We need fresh ideas and energy, but most of all we need people like Lindsay Cross, who has kept her campaign promises and never backed down or sold out the voters who elected her. I’m not even in her district but I wish I could vote for her. My Rep is a moron.

    Anyway. Let’s keep Lindsay right where she is. We need her now more than ever.

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