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St. Pete techies came to lunch and vote

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The Surf and Turf food truck was the first to arrive at Williams Park. It was soon followed by a trickle — then a flood — of mostly millennials from St. Petersburg tech startups. They ate. They chatted and got to know each other. Then they walked down the block to the supervisor of elections’ early voting site to cast their ballots. The gathering was the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce’s “Startup & Vote” event. St. Pete is one of four…

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Jennifer Webb vows to help angry, frustrated homeowners in Redington Beach

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Jennifer Webb promised that, if elected, she would file a bill to overturn a state law that prohibits cities from restricting short-term rentals. Webb did not stop on that one issue. If elected, Webb said, she would work to restore home rule, the power of a municipality to regulate issues within their borders. Many municipalities have complained in recent years that laws passed by the Florida Legislature have eroded the concept of home rule by restricting cities’ legislative powers. “It…

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Charlie Justice stands by his vote to do what the people in Safety Harbor wanted

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During his campaign for re-election, Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice has heard some of the same charges over and over from opponent Mike Mikurak. Two of the most frequently repeated comments have to do with a unanimous vote by the County Commission to refuse a developer’s request to rezone land in Safety Harbor. The developer sued and a judge entered a $16.5 million judgment against the county. The other has to do with St. Petersburg’s dumping millions of gallons of…

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Democratic-leaning For Our Future sees bright spot with get-out-the-vote effort in Florida

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Republicans may have a slight advantage in voter turnout so far through mail-voting and early voting, but a coalition of get-out-the-vote groups led by For Our Future said a deep-dive look at the numbers has them encouraged. In particular, progressive campaigners are hyping their greater success in getting sporadic voters — those who probably can’t be counted on to vote — to vote. The issue is whether the across-the-board increases in early voting in Florida means new and additional voters, or simply…

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Wengay Newton, Jennifer Webb woo voters in Gulfport

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Wengay Newton and Jennifer Webb took the stage in Gulfport on Thursday night in a homestretch effort to charm voters before the Nov. 8 General Election. Newton is running for the State House District 70 seat against Republican Cori Fournier. There is no incumbent in the seat. Webb is challenging Republican incumbent Kathleen Peters for the HD 69 seat. Neither Fournier nor Peters showed up at the forum, leaving the field free for the two Democrats. The Gulfport Area Chamber of…

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Treasure Island resident wants judge to stop city officials’ advocating for referenda

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A Treasure Island resident has sued the city because he believes officials are illegally spending tax money to influence a political campaign. Ken Weiss is asking a judge to order the city to stop spending money on a referendum that would increase the height and density of buildings in some areas of Treasure Island. Weiss is also asking that judge order City Manager Reid Silverboard to pay back “all such illegal expenditures.” Silverboard could not be reached for comment. The…

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Florida service employees union endorses Joanne Lentino for Pinellas School Board

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The Florida chapter of the Service Employees International Union has endorsed Joanne Lentino for the District 1 at-large seat on the Pinellas County School Board. “SEIU Florida has endorsed Joanne Lentino … because we are confident she will bring people together to improve the academic success of all children in Pinellas County,” said Alphonso Mayfield, president of SEIU’s Florida Public Services Union. “She has the experience, integrity and community spirit to get the job done. We will be activating our networks…

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