St. Petersburg council race begins to simmer
ST. PETERSBURG -- With the mayoral race and at least five council positions up in the air, the 2009 city election could be one of the most significant local races in years.
City Council members Karl Nurse, Leslie Curran, Jeff Danner and Jim Kennedy are up for re-election. Curran is considering a mayoral bid, which could open the race even further. Council Chairman Jamie Bennett is expected to leave his seat to run for mayor. The council would then appoint his replacement.
Only a few contenders are being widely discussed at this point.
Activist Theresa Lassiter announced she will challenge Nurse for the District 6 seat last week.
Meanwhile, Will Michaels, vice president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations, said he has been approached about running for Bennett's District 5 seat.
"I am thinking about that," Michaels said. "I haven't made a decision... It certainly is a very important office, and it is something you want to give a lot of thought and consideration to."
Michaels is also president of St. Petersburg Preservation and was a vocal opponent of the Tampa Bay Rays' waterfront stadium plan.
Bennett's opponent in the 2007 election, Chris Kelly, said he won't make another play for the seat.
Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer