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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jamie Bennett officially enters mayoral race



ST. PETERSBURG -- City council member Jamie Bennett will host a press conference to formally announce his candidacy in the upcoming mayoral election Friday morning at City Hall.

Bennett said he also will submit the proper paperwork this week so that he can start accepting campaign contributions.

Meanwhile, Barclay Harless, a former student government president at the University of South Florida, will help Barry Edwards run Bennett's campaign.

UPDATE: Read the entire press release after the jump.

-Cristina Silva, Times staff writer

ST. PETERSBURG -- Promising a bold vision for St. Petersburg, Councilman Jamie Bennett will  announce his candidacy for Mayor on January 16 at 11:00 a.m. at City Hall at 175 Fifth Street North.

"Since we last elected a new mayor to lead our city, St. Petersburg has indeed made progress, but not all of our city has progressed equally," writes Bennett in his prepared remarks. "We need smart, compassionate leadership that unifies us behind shared, ambitious goals."

In addition to filing the paperwork to run for office, Bennett will announce the framework of his OneStPetersburg Campaign.  "I promise to run a campaign based on policy and proposals, not platitudes or broken promises. In the coming weeks I will be touring all eight city districts, meeting with my fellow citizens where I will outline my specific ideas for how to improve our city and hear what the residents want in their next Mayor."

Respectful of the budgetary constraints facing all levels of government, Bennett emphasizes the need to "revolutionize" city government. "The city government I plan to lead will be more open and inclusive, with neighborhood leaders having a larger role in the decision-making process." Bennett also promises a city government more empathetic with the plight of residents feeling the pain of the nation's economic downturn, "City government is perhaps the last line between a family keeping their home or losing it to foreclosure."

As a small business owner operating for more than 25 years and a city council member for the past eight years, Bennett says he offers a unique blend of experience in both the private and public sectors. "There are some candidates who have never worked inside City Hall, while there are others who have never faced the day-to-day issues of running a small business. I offer the voters of St. Petersburg a balanced perspective." Bennett has had a wide variety of experiences including serving two years as a teacher with the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya. Bennett, a St Petersburg resident for 30 years, is married with three children and holds a Master Degree from Stetson University.

Bob Devin Jones, the co-founder of Studio @620, introducing Bennett, states, "Jamie Bennett is a leader we can be proud of, a fighter who has the needed sense of leadership and uses common sense to make good decisions for the entire community."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:43am]


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