ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — On August 24, voters in St. Petersburg will decide who should be the next person to lead as mayor in the second-largest city in the Tampa Bay region. Currently, 8 people are running for St. Pete’s top spot.
Those in the running include current city council members Robert Blackmon and Darden Rice, Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, State Representative and former St. Pete City Council member Wengay Newton, Restauranteur Pete Boland who owns the Galley, Ship’s Hold and Mary Margaret’s Olde Irish Tavern, 20-year-old USF St. Petersburg student Michael Ingram, Stepping Stone Homeless Shelter founder Torry Nelson and Kenwood Organic Produce owner Marcile Powers.
ABC Action News is highlighting each candidate for mayor, including Michael Ingram.
Ingram is just 20 years old. He’s never run for a political seat, but he considers that an advantage.
“Young people are one of the most underrepresented groups and that’s not only in elected office but also in the polls. The reason that is that young people don’t have representation,” he explained.
Ingram’s top priorities center around the environment including the need for clean energy and tackling sea-level rise.
“Parts of St. Pete might not exist within my lifetime. They’ll be underwater,” he added.
If elected, he’d like to start taxing developers who refuse to invest in affordable housing units.
St. Pete recently ranked one of the least affordable places to live in the nation, according to a survey by realty hop.
“Realistically with the rate St. Pete is going at, I won’t be able to live here much longer because I’ll be priced out of here like many other families and individuals in St. Petersburg,” he elaborated.
Ingram also wants to establish a youth city council that will give kids under the age of 18 a voice in St. Pete’s future.
“I got tired of seeing older people implementing policies that will affect me 50 years from now that they won’t see the effect of. I wanted to have representation we can hold responsible 50, 60 years from now,” he explained.
St. Pete's primary election is on August 24. If no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote, the top two will face off in November.
To view Ingram's candidate website, click here.