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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Polson's void in District 1 getting filled by prospects



ST. PETERSBURG -- Since announcing he won't seek another term on City Council representing District 1, Herb Polson said he's had several conversations with people who'd like to replace them.

One of those people was attorney Charlie Gerdes, who announced Tuesday he's filing to run to replace Polson. The 54-year-old attorney released a statement lauding Polson, saying he's concerned about losing Polson's "deep experience, wisdom and advocacy for the West Side and four our entire City."

That would pit Gerdes up against former council member Bob Kersteen, who flirted with running for the seat before Polson announced he wasn't seeking reelection. Kersteen announced he was running in March, a week after Polson dropped out.

A resident of Holiday Park since 1964, Gerdes touts his recovery from alcoholism, stating he's been sober since Nov. 28, 1995. He graduated St. Petersburg Catholic High School in 1974, Florida State University in 1978, and St. Thomas University School of Law in 1999.

He was employed by E-Systems, Inc., and then Raytheon from 1978 to 1997, which should be interesting in a district where a well-publicized contamination spill was blamed on E-Systems, and which Raytheon has agreed to clean up with state environmental officials.

Gerdes might be better known, however, as a coach, manager, director, vice president, and president of Northwest Youth Baseball, Inc. Polson said that's how he knows Gerdes.

"He's a great guy to be around," Polson said of Gerdes. "But it's going to be a crowded field."

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 7:51pm]


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