Let’s be honest, most of the races in St. Petersburg’s municipal elections have been decided. Certain candidates are going to win, no matter what happens.
But that doesn't mean these candidates should win, it just means they will win. In some cases, the right person will win, in other races the worst case scenario will occur.
Here’s who should win tomorrow and who will win tomorrow.
- District 1 – Charlie Gerdes vs. Bob Kersteen: Should win: Charlie Gerdes. Will win: Charlie Gerdes. Charlie Gerdes is the favorite in this race, having won the primary rather handily. At least until news broke of his personal financial problems. Still, Gerdes will likely hang on to defeat Kersteen. Gerdes should and will win for the same reason: Bob Kersteen is more of a retread than what you'll find at Bob Lee's Tire Company. Let me go a step further, what does it say about this city that the best we can do is drag out a 74-year-old man to run for City Council? Whatever Bob Kersteen had to give to this city, he gave to it long ago. Move on.
- District 3 – Bill Dudley vs. Brent Hatley: Should win: Ed Montanari. Will win: Bill Dudley. Because too many city voters confuse a candidate showing up at every ribbon-cutting for leadership, Bill Dudley was perceived to be too strong of a candidate for a traditional candidate, i.e, Ed Montanari, to enter the race to challenge him. Brent Hatley, producer of the Bubba the Love Sponge show, manned up, filed to run against Dudley and at least is keeping him honest. Unfortunately, Hatley hasn’t made a compelling enough of a case to upset Dudley.
- District 5 – Steve Kornell vs. “New Election”: Should win: New Election. Will win: Steve Kornell. Kornell’s opponent dropped out in August. Still, to win he must get more votes than the “New Election” option voters will have. Of course, Kornell deserves to be re-elected, but what fun would that be? In fact, if someone wanted to have some real fun, they could have taken up the cause of “New Election” and made a big deal of it. Hopefully, Steve Kornell defeats “New Election” but only by a point or two. That’ll help keep him honest.
- District 7 – Wengay Newton vs. Gershom Faulkner: Should win: Neither. Will win: Wengay Newtwon. This is another situation where the incumbent is the favorite, but, really, neither of these candidates deserves to win. Newton is consistently on the losing end of 7-to-1 votes and is a thorn-in-the-side to most of his colleagues on City Council. What's hard to believe is that this a point of pride for Newton. In a normal world, Gershom Faulkner could take all of the ridiculous votes Newton has cast and make a compelling case for why Newton deserves to lose, but the reality is Faulkner has not demonstrated that he is a better, different candidate than he was four years ago.