On Thursday evening, September 26th, we hosted the annual “Popcorn and Politics” event at the Hilton Bayfront St. Petersburg. This event provides an opportunity for Chamber members and other attendees to meet the candidates for City Council and discuss the issues.
This year we brought back the “speed networking” format in an effort to allow attendees and candidates to engage in a more thorough discussion than the typical 30-60 second responses allowed in traditional forums.
Robert Blackmon, John Hornbeck, Orlando Acosta, Ed Montanari, Trenia Cox, Deborah Figgs-Sanders, and Eritha “Akile” Cainion participated in the event. Lisa Wheeler-Bowman had a family emergency and was not able to attend.
Conversations focused on affordable housing, the Rays/Tropicana Field, and stakeholder engagement with the candidates oftentimes having similar views.
Straw Poll Results
A straw poll was conducted by the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections and each attendee was given the opportunity to vote a ballot identical to the one every voter in the city will see later this fall.
In the District 1 race to succeed term limited Councilman Charlie Gerdes, Rob Blackmon received 76% of the vote and John Hornbeck received 23%.
In the District 3 race, Councilman Ed Montanari received 74% of the vote and Orlando Acosta received 26%.
In the District 5 race to succeed Councilman Steve Kornell, Trenia Cox received 53% of the vote and Deborah Figgs-Sanders received 47%.
In the District 7 race, Councilwoman Lisa Wheeler-Bowman received 81% of the vote and Eritha “Akile” Cainion received 19%.
Additionally, the 3 Charter Amendments (moving the swearing in of City Council and Mayor to the first or second Thursday from the 2nd of January, extending the city’s agreement with the St. Pete Sailing Center to 2040, and amending the charter to allow grants for city parks to be accepted) on the ballot all passed with over 90% of the vote.
We would like to thank all of the candidates for participating and wish you luck in the November election.
If you were not able to attend the event and want to learn more about the candidates and read their responses to the Chamber questionnaire, please visit http://stpete.com/elections.