Givens in 6th District race
The St. Petersburg City Council's 6th District, stretches from Midtown into Old Northeast. The downtown boom of recent years has shifted the demographics in the traditionally African-American district and made it an intriguing political prize for the 2017 election.
Coucil member Karl Nurse has represented the district since 2007, is stepping down because of term limits at the end of the year.
A potentially crowded field of contenders is rumored to be eyeing the race. On Monday, one stepped forward to file paperwork: Corey Givens.
At 24, if he's elected, his campaign asserts he'll be the youngest council member in city history.
Givens, is no stranger to City Hall. He's a member of the South St. Petersburg Citizen Advisory Committee, the City Beautiful Commission and president of the Lakewood Terrace Neighborhood Association.
Despite his youth, this isn't Givens' first race.
In 2012, he ran for Pinellas County School Board where his candidacy blew up after the Tampa Bay Times revealed he had embellished his educational attainment.
Givens had told the newspaper and documented on his campaign website that, at age 20, he had an associate's degree from St. Petersburg College and a bachelor's degree from Florida State University. He also said he was pursuing a master's degree at the University of South Florida.
Officials at all three schools disputed that account. He had attended, but not graduated, from St. Petersburg College, was attending but had not graduated FSU and had taken undergraduate, not graduate, courses at USF.
On Monday, in a statement, Givens addressed those whoppers.
"It was a stupid and misguided mistake and one I regret still," Givens said. "But I learned from it and it drove me to get even more involved in my community. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's how you rebound from those mistakes that defines you as a leader."
Givens finished fourth in that race, won by current school board member Rene Flowers.
Givens isn't the only District 6 candidate. Sharon Russ, who has run for multiple offices over the years, filed her paperwork last year.
The primary is August 29 and the general election on November 7.