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Mitch Kates

An anticlimactic finish to St. Petersburg’s mayoral race? Or is Rick Kriseman closing on Rick Baker?

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In one week, St. Petersburg residents will know whether Rick Baker is returning to City Hall for a third term as mayor or if incumbent Rick Kriseman lives to fight another day. Whether Baker wins the August 29 primary outright is really the only drama left to unfold in what has turned out to be, at least compared to the previous two mayoral races, an anticlimactic affair.

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Hillsborough County Commissioners honor Kevin Beckner as he departs the board

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Kevin Beckner was feted with plaudits and awards by his colleagues on Wednesday, his last day on the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners. “My service was never about me, it was always about we,” the 45-year-old Indiana native said at a ceremony celebrating his eight years of service on the board. Term-limited out of his seat this fall, he had hoped to continue his political career by running for the Hillsborough Clerk of the Circuit Court seat, but lost in a bitterly…

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In Pittsburgh TV interview, Mitch Kates says Kevin Beckner’s victory in 2008 changed Tampa Bay area politics for the better

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although he’s been long gone from the Tampa Bay area political scene, Democratic strategist Mitch Kates still recalls his days of leading Democrats to upset victories in both Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties with fond memories. Now the political director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, Kates appeared last week on Pittsburgh Community Television to discuss his peripatetic career, which has taken him from his native Northeast to the Tampa Bay Area, to working on campaigns in Eastern Europe (Georgia), Kosovo and the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius.…

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Mitch Perry Report for 1.6.15 — Are Nikki Haley and Julian Castro top picks for VP?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Since we don’t know who the presidential nominees are yet, it’s insanely premature to speculate on who might be the vice-presidential candidates, right? Of course not. Actually, the reason I’m even thinking of this today is that my original story idea for this column is being banked for a future story. But I thought about VP nominees this morning after the Republican National Committee announced that Nikki Haley will be given their response to President Barack Obama‘s State of the…

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Mitch Kates resurfaces as political director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although he said a couple of years ago that he was going to retire from running campaigns, reports of Mitch Kates departure from the political arena were obviously greatly exaggerated. The latest move for the 51-year-old political strategist – who made a huge splash in the Tampa Bay Area for a short period of time in the mid-to-late aughts – is his recent ascension to becoming the political director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. It’s a big responsibility heading into…

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The Keyser Soze of Florida politics

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Even though it’s a little hypocritical of me filing election complaints against candidates for such sins of omission as failing to include the required disclaimer on their campaign material, I do so for an important reason. I believe it’s important for candidates running for office to retain the counsel of a paid political consultant, if for no other reason than so that someone can help navigate them through the hazardous waters of campaign finance laws.  Just as a judge (unofficially)…

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How can Mitch Kates not be blamed for another paperwork screw-up by one of his candidates

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

***Updated***”Everyone knows in this state we have a resign-to-run law,” said Scott Paine, a political science professor at the University of Tampa. “They really should have caught this.” ***Updated***Linda Saul-Sena’s resignation letter here. Forced to resign her city council seat in haste this morning after failing to submit on time her resign-to-run paperwork, Hillsborough County Commission candidate Linda Saul-Sena find her entire campaign in jeopardy because of sloppy paperwork. Failing to dot the i’s correctly may end up costing Saul-Sena…

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