Clearwater mayor's race begins with vice mayor Cretekos' fundraiser
In his campaign to become Clearwater’s mayor, Vice Mayor George Cretekos has the fundraiser, the big names and the campaign website. Now all he needs is an opponent.
Cretekos will kick off his unopposed campaign tonight with a 5:30 p.m. fundraiser at the Sheraton Sand Key resort on Clearwater Beach.
In the first big event of the campaign season, Cretekos isn’t pulling any punches: His host committee includes 87 (!) prominent business leaders, attorneys and politicians, past and present. (Here's the full list.)
Cretekos, a longtime assistant of 21-term U.S. Rep. C. W. Bill Young, knows a thing or two about campaigning. He has already launched a Facebook campaign page, a website and his own chic logo (reminiscent of Chanel). He was also one of the first to announce his intentions to run — in February, seven months before the candidate qualification period began Sept. 15. (That day is now immortalized via a Facebook photo album.)
Community Development Board member Doreen DiPolito and Clearwater Downtown Partnership member Jay Polglaze have taken paperwork to run for the City Council seats that will be vacated next year by Cretekos and council member John Doran. The last day for candidate submissions is Nov. 18.
If elected, Cretekos would take the seat of Frank Hibbard, elected unopposed in 2004 and reelected against former Mayor Rita Garvey in 2008. Hibbard is term-limited.
If someone does run against Cretekos, it would be his first opponent ever. He joined the council in 2007, finishing a term for Hoyt Hamilton, and was re-elected without opposition in 2008.