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Sunday, Apr 20, 2014

St. Pete District 2 candidates offer stark contrasts


ST. PETERSBURG — With only environmentalist and Lens opponent Lorraine Margeson filing to challenge City Council incumbent Jim Kennedy, District 2 voters did not get opportunity to whittle down the list of candidates during the primary.

Instead, voters across the city will make the choice in the Nov. 5 general election.

Not surprisingly, the lack of a primary election has produced a campaign that has largely focused on citywide issues rather than those facing residents in the northeast part of the city where the district lies.

Kennedy has emphasized his frugal leadership of the city’s budget committee and the need to support mass transit.

Margeson has pushed universal curbside recycling, the need to prepare for sea-level rise and more support for neighborhood associations city-wide.

The two have clashed on red-light cameras, with Kennedy a staunch proponent and Margeson calling for the city to scrap its contract with a national red-light camera company.

District 2 is bounded by Weedon Island, 62nd Avenue and the city’s northern boundary, which skirts the residential areas of Feather Sound. It includes significant commercial areas, such as Carillon, along with a range of neighborhoods, including Barclay Estates and Riviera Bay.

Whomever voters elect likely will have to help navigate the city through contentious issues, including the future of the city’s pier, the dispute with the Tampa Bay Rays over the lease at Tropicana Field and the development of a downtown waterfront master plan.

Turn inside for a look at the candidates, their experience and where they stand on key issues.

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