[Courtesy of the League of Women Voters of Manatee County]
Born and raised St. Petersburg Florida (53 years). Married to my soul mate Melissa Newton for 26 years. We have four children: Anthonio, Brandon, Wengay Jr., and Chelsea, and six grandchildren. Elected to City of St. Petersburg Council, November 2007; re-elected in 2011 – 8 years of Governance. Term limited, January 2, 2016.
Education: Northeast High School, Class of 1981 Diploma; ITT Technical Institute, A.S. in Electronic Engineering, Class of 1983; Xerox Corporation Management Training, Graduate 1996; Microsoft MCSE SPC 2001; CONA Leadership Graduate, Class of 2006.
Business Experience: Owner of Newton’s Photography Studio since 2000. Senior Printing System Engineer Xerox Corporation for 18 years. (1983 – 2001).
Government Experience: Elected Official, City of St. Petersburg–8 yrs of governance; Community Development Block Grant Committee, Consolidated Plan Ad Hoc Application Review Committee, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, PSTA Legislative Committee, PSTA Nominating Committee, Chair, Youth Services Committee, Budget, Finance and Taxation, Public Services and Infrastructure, Housing Services, Emergency Medical Systems Ad-Hoc, Co-Sponsored Events, Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Pinellas Planning Council, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, TBRPC Legislative Subcommittee, Florida League of Cities – Personal, Finance and Taxation, Florida League of Cities – Florida Black Caucus Of Local Elected Officials (FBC-LEO)City Council Vice-Chair 2012
In what community organizations have you been active?
Member of the Westminster Heights Neighborhood Association. Downtown Rotary, Midtown Rotary, Friends of Weedon Island Board of Directors, Pinellas County HIPPY Program Advisory Committee, Chair. Served on boards for the Boys and Girls Club, Job Corps Advisory, Carrera After School Program Advisory, First Tee Program, 5000 Role Models of Excellence and Suncoast Tiger Bay Board of Directors, Meals On Wheels, Gulfport Chamber Of Commerce, St. Pete Lil Devils Advisory Committee, Member of NAACP, Pinellas Democratic Black Caucus, Florida Black Caucus Of Local Elected Officials, City of St. Petersburg’s Nuisance Abatement Board, Duces Live Main Street Board, Kind Mouse Board, Newt’s Annual Appreciation Bar-B-Que.
Why are you running for this office, and what qualities, experience and skills do you bring to this position?
I’m running for Florida House District 70 because I want to continue to work hard representing the community that has given my family and me so much love. Real leadership is about self-sacrifice, commitment and truly caring about people. I’m the only candidate with ballot name recognition in 65% of the House District 70’s voting precincts, and the voters know me. I will serve the entire district, from Round Lake (St. Petersburg) to Newtown (Sarasota), and everything in between. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve you in Tallahassee.
What do you see as the most important issues facing this office, and how would you deal with them if elected?
Education, Living Wage Jobs, Affordable Housing, Medicaid Expansion and our Infrastructure. Will support or propose legislation that would fully funds these areas of greatest need.