A sign Rick Kriseman's not running for Mayor — or just his generosity? Either way, the right thing

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When State Representative Rick Kriseman decided not to run for re-election earlier this year, it sounded like he wanted to run for Mayor of St. Petersburg in 2013.

“The mayor had his share of challenges,” said Kriseman, who served with now Mayor Bill Foster on the City Council from 2000 to 2005. “I would do it differently, just as he would do it differently if he served in the state House.”

Conventional wisdom dictates that while Kriseman may continue to put out feelers about running for Mayor, he would not officially declare his candidacy until after November 2012 or maybe even next year.

This left Kfriseman needing to decide what to do with the $25,000-plus he had raised so far for his now-tabled re-election campaign for the State House.

Well, the answer is either a sign that Kriseman’s not running, that he’s running but didn’t want to use money he raised for a legislative campaign in a local election or that he is a genuinely generous human being.

The money was entirely transferable to a municipal campaign so long as Kriseman gave his donors the ability to ask for their money back.  The money would have also been a helluva kick-start for a Democratic candidate running in a city not exactly known for its deep-pocketed political donors.

Notice I refer to the money in the past tense. That’s because it’s gone. It’s spent. It’s zeroed-out.

Kriseman spent the twenty-five large. But not on polling for a possible mayoral run. Not to feather the nests of his consultants and staff.

Nope, Rick Kriseman did the right thing. He donated much of the money to charity.

According to campaign finance documents just made available on Friday, Rep. Kriseman kicked-up $10,000 to the Florida Democratic Party. But he also donated $1,000 to First Tee, $1,000 to St. Petersburg Museum of History, $1,000 to St. Petersburg Preservation, $1,000 to St. Petersburg Museum of History, $5,000 to the USF Foundation, and $1018 to WMNF.

Kriseman conducted a poll on Facebook to determine the recipients.

It’s not often politicians choose to do the right thing, but this clearly is such a moment.

Kudos to you, Rep. Kriseman.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.