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Major labor union endorses Barclay Harless for St. Pete City Council

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In the battle of endorsements in the St. Petersburg City Council District 2 race, Barclay Harless has nabbed a big one, receiving the backing of the West Central Florida Federation of Labor (WCFFL/AFL-CIO) on Wednesday.

“We have proudly endorsed Barclay Harless based on his record of community advocacy, his stance for fair / living wages and his strong record of supporting working families,” said Cheryl Schroeder, WCFFL’s Executive Director. “St. Petersburg needs a leader who will fight for our city to benefit its people – not succumb to corporate greed.”

The WCFFL represents AFL-CIO affiliated locals in a 12 county jurisdiction, representing some 100,000 active and retired union members in the area. In a statement, the Harless campaign says that the endorsement “brings with it a solid fundraising, organizing, and volunteer base to support Harless in his campaign. “

“I am honored and grateful to have the support of the brothers and sisters of labor,” says Harless, who works as a banker in St. Petersburg. “I will bring a fresh perspective and new leadership to the St. Pete City Council that works in partnership with labor to protect our quality of life and meet the challenges of the future while protecting workers rights.”

The labor endorsement comes a day after realtor Brandi Gabbard, Harless’ opponent in the District 2 race, acquired the backing from the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association, the biggest police union in St. Pete.

The primary election for District 2 takes place August 29. If neither candidate gets 50 percent plus one of the vote, they’ll square off again in November.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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