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Low turnout so far in St. Petersburg City Council race

A lot of candidates, five to be exact, and, at least on Election Day, not so many voters. So far.

A unscientific lunchtime tour of polling places in the district revealed empty voting booths and lonely poll watchers. The primary election in District 7, which coves Midtown, Childs Park and other southern neighborhoods, has five candidates: Will Newton, Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Sheila Scott Griffin, Aaron Sharpe and Lewis Stephens.

One of those election day volunteers was council member Wengay Newton. Camped in a folding chair in the scant shade outside Thomas "Jet" Jackson Recreation Center, 1000 28th St. S, Newton, the older brother of Will Newton, said the slow trickle of voters was to be expected.

"This is a primary. It's been a long time since we've had a primary in District 7," Newton said. "There's more election officials than voters."

The polls close at 7 p.m. As of Monday, 1,993 mailed ballots had been returned out of 6,235 or 32 percent. The district has about 19,000 registered voters.

At 2p.m., the Pinellas County Supervsior of Election estimated Election Day turnout to be 1.28 percent.

Only voters in the district can cast ballots today. The top two candidates will advance to the general election on Nov. 3.

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