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St. Pete restaurant owner joins race for mayor

Pete Boland, 37, who owns The Galley and Mary Margaret’s Old Irish Tavern, will be running on a "St. Pete first" agenda.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A local restaurateur has thrown his hat in the ring for St. Pete's mayoral race.

Pete Boland, 37, who owns The Galley and Mary Margaret’s Old Irish Tavern, will be running as a Republican, although the race is non-partisan.

According to a press release, Boland is running on a "St. Pete first" agenda as the city is his "forever home," the Tampa Bay Times reports. Among his platform of "balance," the newspaper writes, Boland will prioritize lower taxes, increased government accountability, modernizing police, improving public schools, and championing local businesses.

The restaurant owner made headlines last year when spoke out against St. Pete's COVID-19 restrictions for restaurants and bars. Boland had a small outbreak of the virus among his staff at The Galley after reopening, leading him to temporarily close "out of an abundance of caution."

The Tampa Bay Times added that both The Galley and Mary Margaret’s Olde Irish Tavern received citations from the city for staff not wearing masks. 

10 Tampa Bay spoke to Boland more recently. He decided to make masks optional for his staff when Governor DeSantis signed an executive order eliminating all local COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.

Boland joins a crowded field of mayoral candidates, including Council members Darden Rice and Robert Blackmon, former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, and former Council member and state Rep. Wengay Newton. Other candidates include Vincent Nowicki, Michael Levinson, Michael Ingram and Marcile Powers.

The two candidates who get the most votes in the Aug. 24 primary will advance to the November general election.

RELATED: Ken Welch joins crowded race for St. Petersburg Mayor

RELATED: The Galley to reopen after COVID-19 closure

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