Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg political campaigns tap into Facebook, Twitter, blogs

ST. PETERSBURG — The 2009 election is shaping up to be the most Internet savvy race the city has ever seen, with a slew of declared candidates launching Web sites, social networking profiles, YouTube videos and blogs.

Council member Jamie Bennett created a Facebook account and launched his mayoral Web site, which has its own blog.

In one post, he takes on the contentious issue of a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays.

"My preference is for a stadium with a retractable roof on the existing property. But I am open to other suggestions," he wrote. "Let me be clear about a couple of principles: Under a Bennett administration, Major League Baseball will be in St. Petersburg. And with the economy in the shape it is, I hope the Rays submit a proposal that does not require public financing."

According to Facebook, Bennett is nonpartisan, though he has a history of activism in the Democratic Party. He also is a member of a group called Gay Marriage Killed the Dinosaurs, which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at opposition to gay marriage.

Mayoral contender Scott Wagman, a real estate broker, has a Web site that also links to his Facebook and Twitter features. On Facebook, he wrote that he digs Anita Baker and Caddyshack. His Web site has YouTube videos of residents talking about why they love the 'burg. In fact, his site seems to be more about what residents think than self-promotion, which supports his campaign's stance that he's still in the listening-to-voters stage.

Next up is Deveron Gibbons, an Amscot Financial vice president, who keeps his Facebook profile all business. It promotes his campaign, but gives very little insight into the man behind the campaign literature. Same goes for Gibbons' Web site.

Meanwhile, a handful of City Council candidates, including some incumbents, are just starting to build up their Web efforts.

Steve Kornell, who wants to replace Bennett in the District 5 seat, is a Breakfast Club and Nine Inch Nails fan, according to Facebook. On his Web site, he writes that he will fight for schools and economic development, but doesn't really say how he will create more jobs.

Council member Jim Kennedy's re-election site exists, but is totally bare.

On the other end of the spectrum, council member Karl Nurse's Web site promotes his pet causes.

Nurse and council member Jeff Danner, who is also likely to seek re-election, are on Facebook, too. But they seem more interested in keeping in touch with their buddies than reaching out to voters. For example, you can't even see Nurse's profile unless he approves you as his Facebook "friend." Facebook allows users to screen who can view their profiles, but most politicians leave their accounts open to the public.

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or csilva@sptimes.com.

on the web

Local politicos

Jamie Bennett:
www.onestpetersburg.com

Scott Wagman:
www.scottwagman.com

Deveron Gibbons:
www.gibbonsformayor.com

Steve Kornell:
www.stevekornell.com

Jim Kennedy:
www.keepkennedy.com

Karl Nurse:
www.karlnursestpete.com

St. Petersburg political campaigns tap into Facebook, Twitter, blogs 02/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  2. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big

    Bucs

    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  3. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump

    Blogs

    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  4. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  5. Candidates for governor get emotional talking about their gay siblings

    Blogs

    Occasionally in today's hyper-rehearsed and contrived world of political campaigns one witnesses moments that are so honest and real, we can't help but understand we're not just listening to another politician give his or her stump speech; We're listening to a human being who understands personal pain at least as well …

    Chris King talking to reporters in Tallahassee