What’s on the 2021 ballot? Here is a guide

ST. PETERSBURG – The 2021 municipal elections in Saint Petersburg are approaching. Tuesday is the day.

Who will be the next mayor? Will history be written with the city’s first black mayor? The city’s first Hispanic on city council, or the first Democratic Socialist on council? How will the city charter evolve?

The ballot is long, but do not stress yourself. Here’s a rundown of all of St. Petersburg’s political coverage, plus some tips to make sure your ballot counts on Tuesday.

How to vote?

Thursday evening, 33,548 voters cast or mailed their ballots. That’s an 18.1 percent turnout. The turnout in the last municipal elections in 2017 was 39.6%. It’s a particularly sleepy race.

The polling stations are open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find out where your polling station is here.

It is too late to mail your mail-in ballot, but completed mail-in ballots can be dropped off at the Pinellas Election Supervisor’s office in downtown St. Petersburg at 501 1st Ave. NOT.

If you received a mail-in ballot, but prefer to vote in your riding, bring your mail-in ballot (the complete kit) with you to your polling station.

Who is running for mayor?

For the mayor, Ken Welch, 57, and Robert Blackmon, 32. There is a lot of reading material on them, and they have appeared in multiple virtual and in-person debates from Housing to Arts.

Our analysis after the August primary found that despite the mayoral race being technically non-partisan, voters went with their political party’s candidate. Blackmon is a Republican and Welch is a Democrat.

Here’s how Welch can win, and here’s how Blackmon can win. Neither of them invoked Governor Ron DeSantis. This is where Blackmon and Welch stand on the questions. They most recently clashed in a debate hosted by Spectrum News 9 and the Tampa Bay weather.

Darden Rice, who finished third in the August primaries, backed Welch in the general election. The Tampa Bay Rays have donated $ 50,000 to the Welch campaign.

Both candidates have had controversial past statements on social media. Welch said he had moved on from writing an op-ed in his early 30s when he said he was on the “Christian right” and interpreted the Bible as “clearly pro-family and pro-life. “. In 2008, Welch said he shared the values ​​of his conservative church which condemned homosexuality.

In his 20s, Blackmon posted vulgar and derogatory remarks on Facebook about women, Asians and tenants. Blackmon has since apologized and said he was “a young idiot writing stupid Internet stuff.”

Blackmon, who has campaigned for affordable housing, is a landlord who has put an end to tenant evictions from his properties amid an outcry. He spends the evening before Election Day at the Blexit 727 Block Party. Blexit means black exit from the Democratic Party.

Who is a candidate for the municipal council?

There are five City Council races on the ballot, but one has already been decided. Brandi Gabbard’s opponent has withdrawn from the race, meaning she was re-elected by default, although the ballots have already been printed.

There will be at least three new faces to the City Council of Districts 1, 4 and 8. You can read more about these races here, here and here. In District 4, union officials and candidate Lisset Hanewicz hit back at candidate Tom Mullins, who dismissed public sector employee unions as “just looking for a candidate willing to throw taxpayers under the bus” .

District 6 member Gina Driscoll is the only holder facing a challenger. His opponent is Mhariel Summers.

What are the changes to the charter about?

The Charter Review Commission, which meets every 10 years, proposed seven amendments which appear on the ballot. The first question could change the way St. Petersburg elects city council members by eliminating city-wide second-round elections and moving to single-member districts.

The other six changes range from creating a position and plan for the head of equity to designating funding for these initiatives. They establish a new redistribution process and change the charter review schedule so that it does not interfere with the redistribution. An amendment proposes a preamble to the City Charter.

There is also a referendum on renewal that grants property tax exemptions to new businesses and expansions of existing businesses that are expected to create new full-time jobs in St. Petersburg.

Where can I find election coverage?

Tuesday we will be covering Election Day with reporters from across town. The results should appear on the Pinellas Election Supervisor website shortly after 7 p.m. Follow tampabay.com and journalist from St. Petersburg @Colleen_Wright on Twitter for live coverage.

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