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St. Petersburg retains incumbents, votes in first openly gay council member

ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council will welcome one fresh face: Steve Kornell.

He earned more than enough votes to beat Angela Rouson in the race for the seat in District 5 Tuesday. Incumbents swept the city's other four council races.

When he takes office Jan. 2, Kornell will become the first openly gay person to hold office on the St. Petersburg City Council.

Kornell, a Pinellas County schools social worker, received 59.5 percent. Rouson, a mother of five, former marketing professional and wife of state Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, received 40.5 percent.

Kornell has an extensive background working with city recreation centers, running Childs Park and Shore Acres. He wrote a grant that still brings in millions for teen programs. He hopes to help prevent crime and increase youth activities and jobs. He advocates using Penny for Pinellas money to put solar panels on city buildings.

Here's how others played out:

In District 2, the closest match, Jim Kennedy, 52, earned 55.7 percent, beating newcomer Stephen J. "Steve" Corsetti, 65, who earned 44.3 percent. In District 4, Leslie Curran, 53, captured 71.9 percent to beat Pamella Settlegoode, 60, who earned 28 percent. In District 6, Karl Nurse, 55, earned 73.8 percent to retain his council seat, beating Vel Thompson, 51, who earned 26.2 percent. In District 8, incumbent Jeff Danner, 49, received 72.2 percent, beating Leonard Schmiege, 40, who received 27.8 percent.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at shayes@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8857.

St. Petersburg retains incumbents, votes in first openly gay council member 11/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 9:42am]
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