Steve Kornell gets a challenger in his bid for re-election

Meanwhile, no women will be on the ballot in St. Petersburg this fall.

Kornell says his platform will be similar to what he ran on in 2009 - but this time, he has a track record to point to on City Council.

"The issues are the same," he said Tuesday morning. "Public safety, making sure our officers are well equipped and well trained, and well staffed, keeping our neighborhoods safe, preventing juvenile crime...economic development...and the environment."

In terms of economic development, Kornell says the best way to do that is to work with officials at USF-St. Pete, and says there are several projects being worked on at the moment. He said such development ties in with education, saying that large companies want to know that their children will have high-quality schools to attend.

Kornell says he's also working with a group of libraries on early learning programs. "We do a lot of literacy programs," he says of the city. "But somehow, with the [poor] graduation rate, we're not hitting some of the kids."

He also says he's proud of his record on the environment, which included campaigning to bring curbside recycling to the city, which has finally happened.

And on public safety, he says he's currently meeting people with all 20 apartment complexes in his district, in order to learn their safety needs.

Meanwhile, of the four council seats up for election this year, only one race will go before the voters in August.

That's in District 1, where there are three men competing for the seat ? Charlie Gerdes, Robert "Bob" Kersteen and Joshua B Shulman. They'll compete on August 30.

The other three races won't be decided until November. Kornell vs. Protz in District 5, incumbent Bill Dudley against Brent Hatley (a producer of Bubba the Love Sponge's radio program) in District 3, and Wengay Newton defending his District 7 seat against challenger Gershom Faulkner.

If you didn't see any women listed above, that's because there aren't any. That prompted Darden Rice, a former candidate herself and now the president of the St. Petersburg League of Women Voters, to write on her Facebook page, "As the deadline for city council races closes, I can't help but think: St Pete City Council races need strong women candidates in the near future. Black and white. Democrat and Republican. Young and old. We gotta get more women involved in running, consulting, managing, and sitting at the table as electeds, city staff, business spokespeople, and community leaders."

Maybe in 2013?

Steve Kornell
  • Steve Kornell

Steve Kornell says he is not surprised that he face a challenger in November, though up until the last hour of the qualifying deadline on Monday afternoon, it looked as if he would run unopposed in his bid for re-election in his District 5 City Council seat in St. Petersburg.

But at the last hour, businessman Bill Protz filed to run against Kornell. Protz is the president of the Catalina Marketing Charitable Foundation.

Kornell said that he recently told some of his supporters that if anybody was going to get in the race against him, it would probably not happen until the final moments of qualifying.

He was correct.

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