Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Justin Bean leads District 6 council race; Driscoll, Blackmon trail

ST. PETERSBURG — Justin Bean will advance to the Nov. 7 runoff for the City Council's District 6 seat. But who will join him in that race?

Gina Driscoll led Robert Blackmon by just four votes in Tuesday night's primary. But a handful of votes still need to be reviewed. The narrow margin could trigger a recount of the race, said Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections spokesman Jason Latimer.

Bean earned 1,442 votes, or 21 percent. Driscoll had 1,215 votes or 17.81 percent. Blackmon followed that with 1,211 votes, or 17.75 percent of the vote.

MEET JUSTIN BEAN: St. Petersburg council candidate Justin Bean has ideas about Rays, Trop and pier

Bean pointed to his community service and business experience as reasons to elect him to the District 6 seat. He was a volunteer consultant on a competing proposal to redevelop Tropicana Field and founded a nonprofit to rehabilitate Williams Park, long known for transients and drug deals.

His experience "and approach to roll up" his sleeves and get things done resonated with voters, he said.

"The way things are in politics, people really appreciate leading by example," he said. "There are a lot of issues we need to focus on ... we shouldn't be guessing every time it rains about sewage."

The top three vote getters also happened to raise the most money.

Blackmon, 28, a millionaire property investor, put $15,000 of his own money into the race and raised a total of $30,933. Bean raised $26,510 to Driscoll's $27,751.

MEET GINA DRISCOLL: Council candidate Gina Driscoll vows to improve affordable housing in St. Pete

Driscoll was endorsed by outgoing City Council member Karl Nurse, who currently represents the district, but is term-limited. Driscoll has referred to Nurse as her mentor and, like him, will focus on affordable housing, "particularly south of downtown," in the area of Midtown.

The president of the influential Downtown Neighborhood Association, she has vowed to work with whoever is elected mayor. The sales manager for Hampton Inn & Suites St. Petersburg Downtown doesn't believe taxpayers should pay for a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays and supports Kriseman's plans to ask Pinellas County to reallocate an extra $14 million in Tax Increment Financing, or TIF funds, to the Pier District and downtown transportation and parking.

ROBERT BLACKMON: Council hopeful Robert Blackmon fears for St. Pete's environment, infrastructure

Blackmon had garnered unwanted attention when the New York Post reported that he is dating Sydney Simpson, the daughter of O.J. Simpson. He denied the report.

He snagged endorsements from City Council member Jim Kennedy, former City Council member Larry Williams and Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority chairman James Holton.

Blackmon, who says he is concerned about the environment, wants to see Salt Creek, Bartlett Lake and Spa Beach, all in District 6, cleaned up and promoted as part of an eco-tourism program. He renovated a four-unit building in Midtown and has said that renovating the city's old housing stock could help to build up the supply of affordable housing.

Also in the crowded primary was Maria Scruggs, who ran fourth and is president of the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP. She ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2001. Other candidates were Eritha "Akile" Cainion, fielded by the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement; Corey Givens Jr. and James "Jim" Jackson, who have both run for Pinellas County School Board; and James Scott, a former student body president of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

District 6, stretches from southern neighborhoods, which include the predominantly African-American and poor Midtown community, through parts of downtown and a portion of Old Northeast. When the district's boundaries were redrawn in 2013, 51 percent of its residents were minorities. But recent downtown growth has decreased that percentage, Nurse said.

Until Nurse was appointed to fill the vacant council seat in 2008 — he was elected twice since then — the district had for decades been represented by black leaders. Whoever represents the district will have to attend to the concerns of a diverse district that includes, the poor who live in Midtown and have no supermarket of their own and the prosperous in the city's booming downtown.

Times staff writers Josh Solomon and Allison Graves contributed to this report. Contact Waveney Ann Moore at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.

Justin Bean leads District 6 council race; Driscoll, Blackmon trail 08/29/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 10:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.