Alum and graduate student fall short in race for City Council seat
USF St. Petersburg alum Corey Givens Jr. and graduate student James Scott ran, but failed to grab the City Council’s district 6 seat.
By Dinorah Prevost
In Tuesday’s primary election, alum Corey Givens Jr. and graduate student James Scott fell short with their campaigns for St. Petersburg City Council’s District 6 seat.
Local businessman Justin Bean beat Givens, Scott and five other candidates for the first spot of two in the Nov. 7 general election. Bean amounted 1,442 votes or 21 percent. Givens won 678 votes or 9.94 percent while Scott won 439 votes or 6.43 percent.
Meanwhile, candidates Gina Driscoll and Robert Blackmon will battle for the second spot on the November ballot on Friday. Driscoll and Blackmon are separated by only four votes, with Driscoll leading. The close call has prompted a Friday recount by the county Supervisor of Elections to determine who will advance to face Bean.
Givens entered the District 6 race on Jan. 9 as its first candidate. This was Givens’ second run for public office. In 2012, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Pinellas County School Board.
Givens, 25, graduated from USF St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s in mass communications in 2014. He was first inspired to run for public office after covering a local government beat in a class with Robert Dardenne, a former journalism professor who died in 2013.
Scott, 29, is a graduate student in the master’s program in Florida Studies. In his campaign, Scott touted his extensive experience in Student Government, where he’s served as president and chair of the appropriations committee.
Like Givens, Scott has also been involved in local politics before. Last year, he co-managed a renewable energy campaign, “100 percent St. Pete,” with the Sierra Club.
The general election for the City Council District 6 race is on Nov. 7. Although only residents of District 6 could vote in the primary, residents citywide can vote in the November election.
Information for this article was gathered from the Tampa Bay Times.
Header photo of St. Petersburg City Hall courtesy of Wikimediacommons