The results are in. Following the Aug. 27 St. Petersburg City Council primary election, two candidates from each district up for election this year will find their names on the November ballot, where they will be subject to city-wide election.
In District 3 and District 7 primaries, incumbents Ed Montanari, 61, and Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, 51, secured decisive victories.
In District 3, Montanari, a commercial pilot and lone conservative voice on City Council, received nearly 71 percent of the vote, and will face off against challenger Orlando Acosta, 48, a defense contractor and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Acosta received 20 percent of the vote on Tuesday. The third candidate, Zac Collins, 36, a professional brewer, received just over 9 percent of the vote, and will not advance to the general election.
In District 7, Wheeler-Bowman, who was endorsed by Mayor Rick Kriseman and each of her colleagues on City Council, received over 57 percent of the vote. She will face Eritha “Akile” Cainion, 22, who is affiliated with the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and is running on a platform of reparations with the slogan, “Make the Southside black again.” Cainion earned nearly 24 percent. Recent Florida State University graduate Sarah Elizabeth Moore, 22, received nearly 14 percent of the vote, and real estate investor Chico Cromartie, 47, got less than 5 percent. Neither will advance to the general election.
In District 5, the only district in the primary without an incumbent, candidates Trenia Cox, 69, and Deborah Figgs-Sanders, 54, will advance to the general election. Cox, a retired senior special projects coordinator for the Juvenile Welfare Board, secured 35 percent of the vote, while Figgs-Sanders, a business owner and former executive director of Childs Park YMCA, earned just under 30 percent. Environmental activist Beth Connor won just under 21 percent of the vote and was in third place and out of the running for the general election, despite outraising Figgs-Sanders in funding. Philip Garrett, 54, who previously ran for the seat against term-limited Council member Steve Kornell, secured 8.5 percent of the vote and Anne Lenholt Hirsch, midwife and Uhuru activist, took just under 6 percent.
Candidates from District 1, Robert Blackmon, 30, and John Hornbeck, 34, did not face a primary election after the third candidate in the race, Scott Orsini, 53, dropped out over public scrutiny of unsavory social media posts. Blackmon and Hornbeck will face off in the general election.
Unlike mayoral races, two City Council candidates from each district advance to the general election, even if they received more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election. While only residents of each City Council district could vote for their respective candidates in the primary, the general election moves city-wide, giving residents throughout St. Petersburg a chance to decide who will ultimately serve on City Council. City Council members serve four year terms and their elections are nonpartisan.
The general election will take place Nov. 5. For more information on each of the candidates, visit their respective voter guides.