Popcorn and Politics Preview

Posted On 09/13/2019 by Matt Lettelleir

On Thursday, September 26th, the St. Pete Chamber will hold its annual Popcorn and Politics event in the lead up to the City Council elections in November. The event will be held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront in Downtown St. Pete and begin at 5:30 PM.

Attendees will participate in 10-minute “speed networking” round table discussions with each of the candidates for the districts up for election. Additionally, a straw poll will be conducted by the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections to gauge attendees’ candidate preferences.

District 1-  Rob Blackmon vs John Hornbeck

Property developer Blackmon narrowly missed advancing to a run-off election in 2017 and is now running for the District 1 seat being vacated by Charlie Gerdes due to term limits. Blackmon has raised $35,754 and has received the endorsement of Senator Darryl Rouson, Rep.Wengay Newton, and Council Members Brandi Gabbard, Darden Rice, and Gina Driscoll. Learn more here: Rob Blackmon

John Hornbeck is a local attorney and newcomer to St. Pete politics. In the race since the Spring, he has raised $4,860 for his campaign. He has not released any endorsements to date. Learn more here: John Hornbeck

District 3- Orlando Acosta vs Ed Montanari

Orlando Acosta is a local consultant who entered the race the week of qualifying. Recruited by area Democrats to run against Montanari, Acosta has raised $14,354 for his campaign and is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Stonewall Democrats, and Florida National Organization for Women.
Learn more here: Orlando Acosta

Ed Montanari was elected to City Council in 2015 without opposition. A pilot for American Airlines and a veteran, Montanari has raised $77,660 for his campaign and boasts the endorsements of a majority of his City Council colleagues. Learn more here: Ed Montanari

District 5- Trenia Cox vs Deborah Figgs-Sanders

Trenia Cox is a former Senior Special Services Coordinator for the Juvenile Welfare Board and community leader. She has raised $14,314 for her campaign and is endorsed by Rep Wengay Newton, School Board Member Linda Lerner, and County Commissioner Kathleen Peters.
Learn more here: Trenia Cox

Deborah Figgs- Sanders is a local consultant and former Executive Director of the Childs Park YMCA. She has raised $27,385 and her endorsements include: Rep. Jen Webb, Pinellas County School Board Chair Rene Flowers, Council Members Amy Foster, Brandi Gabbard and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman. . Learn more here: Deborah Figgs-Sanders

District 7- Eritha Akile Cainion vs Lisa Wheeler-Bowman

Eritha Akile Cainion is a local community activist who ran unsuccessfully in 2017 for the District 6 seat now held by Gina Driscoll. Her campaign is focused on reparations for the African-American community and she has raised $24,599. Learn more here: Eritha Akile Cainion

Lisa Wheeler-Bowman was elected in 2015 to this seat and is running for re-election. She has raised $35,328 and is endorsed by most of her colleagues on City Council. Learn more here: Lisa Wheeler-Bowman

To learn more about the event and to register CLICK HERE