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St. Pete Election: District 2 Candidates Say Jobs Are Important

Barclay Harless | Brandi Gabbard | Politics

By COREY MAPP, Writer, TB Reporter

Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless are running for the District 2 seat on the St. Petersburg City Council. Voters citywide cast ballots in the Nov. 7 election.

ST. PETERSBURG – City Council candidates agree that bringing higher paying jobs to the St. Pete area is important, but their plans on how are different.

Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless are running for the District 2 seat on the St. Pete City Council. The seat is currently held by Jim Kennedy, who is terming out. They spoke recently spoke at forum moderated by the League of Women Voters.

Gabbard stressed the importance of walkability, transportation, small business jobs, and economic development. Working families, she said, need to be supported by bringing higher paying jobs to St. Pete. She used her husband as an example, saying he worked at a company that moved to the area here from Massachusetts.

Harless touted infrastructure, zeroing in on sewers and road repairs. Infrastructure improvements in the city, schools, and housing would attract companies, he said.

“I am very circumspect on any government using tax dollars to attract other businesses,” Harless said.

The candidates had similar thoughts on solar power, agreeing that incentives rather than sanctions are the way to go. They also shared a similar response when asked what they would do to keep the Rays in St. Pete, advocating no tax dollars toward funding a new stadium.

In a “yes or no” lightning round the candidates were asked if they supported the removal of super PAC money from local elections, both answered no.

Gabbard could not be reached for comment to elaborate on her position.

Harless used the closing remark time section to elaborate on his response saying, “We were asked ‘yes or no’ questions and I respect that, but our society is not a ‘yes or no’ society. The fact of the matter is that I support the ideas behind removing money from politics. I am circumspect about using city funds to defend that at this point in time.”

Gabbard used her 90 seconds of closing remark to reiterate her values and explain what sets her apart from her opponent.

“I’m raising a child in our community, I am a small business person in this community, and I see this city through that lens. I want to be the voice of everyday people in our city,” Gabbard said.

The election is Nov. 7. Also on the nonpartisan ballot are races for St. Petersburg mayor, city Council Districts 4 and 6, and a countywide referendum to renew the Penny for Pinellas sales tax for another 10 years. All voters in the city can cast ballots for all St. Petersburg races and the county referendum.

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 7 election is Tuesday (Oct. 10).

To register to vote, or for voting information, go to votepinellas.com.

For information about Gabbard, go to brandi4stpete.com.

For information about Harless, go to voteharless.com.

Photo shows Barclay Harless, left, and Brandi Gabbard.

St. Petersburg | St Pete Elections | Politics | Elections | Brandi Gabbard | Barclay Harless | Local News

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St. Pete Election: District 2 Candidates Say Jobs Are Important
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St. Pete Election: District 2 Candidates Say Jobs Are Important
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Brandi Gabbard and Barclay Harless are running for the District 2 seat on the St. Petersburg City Council. Voters citywide cast ballots in the Nov. 7 election.
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TB Reporter
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