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Joe Ayoub wins solid victory to return as Safety Harbor mayor

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Joe Ayoub will again serve as Safety Harbor mayor, after decisively defeating City Council member Janet Hooper by more than 30 points in Tuesday’s municipal elections. He will replace Mayor Andy Steingold, who had retired from local politics.

“We have a special city and I absolutely love serving our community,” Ayoub said. “it is humbling and an extreme honor to become your next Mayor. I am ready to roll my sleeves up and get to work to protect our small-town charm and give a voice to all of our residents.”

Unofficial results from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections show Ayoub received 3,001 votes, just under 66 percent of the 4,579 votes cast.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Ayoub vowed to continue a “thriving downtown, a waterfront park that is usable and attractive for all residents” as well as “laser focused on keeping taxes low and our spending is in check. I am looking forward to working with the Commission to improve Safety Harbor for all residents.”

Nick Janovsky, Ayoub’s campaign manager, added: “Safety Harbor voters have spoken with a resounding message and they want a fiscal hawk with a proven track record who has a vision for progress as their Mayor by electing Joe Ayoub with 66 percent.

“I’m proud of the issues based campaign Joe Ayoub ran and his hard work to give all residents a voice in city hall,” Janovsky continued. “Joe is a rising star and I can’t wait to see the results he brings Safety Harbor and Pinellas County in the future.”

From March 2007 to January 2013, Ayoub was a City Council member, before chosen as mayor, a job he held until March 2014, losing re-election to Steingold.

In his bid to return to City Hall, Ayoub received bipartisan support, earning endorsements from both former Florida chief financial officer Alex Sink, a Democrat and Neil Brickfield, a Republican.

As a Countryside High School graduate, Ayoub earned an accounting degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the University of South Florida. The 26-year Safety Harbor resident serves as CFO at Data Blue.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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