Actually, Rick Baker HAS NOT ruled out running for Mayor in 2013

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In one column, Tampa Bay Times reporter Adam Smith sure caused a lot of headaches for those of us working in Pinellas politics.  Not only did he inaccurately place Rep. Jeff Brandes in John Thrasher’s camp over Jack Latvala’s, but he made it sound as if former Mayor Rick Baker won’t run for Mayor of St. Petersburg in 2013.

Smith wrote in his Sunday column: “Don’t worry, Mayor Foster. Your predecessor all but ruled it out — at least in 2013 — when we asked him last week.”

“It’s not my intention,” (Rick) Baker said. “I’m not saying I never will. I’m not saying I won’t down the road.”

Come on, Adam, you know Rick better than that.  You have to read between the lines, buddy.

Sure, it’s not Rick’s intention to run for Mayor, but, as he’s told me, he’s not intending anything — running for Mayor, Governor, or President –right now.  He’s focused on his family and his job at USF.

Ask him again in six-to-nine months and you could get an entirely different answer.

That’s the beauty of a Baker candidacy.  If he were to run, he would not have to decide until late-spring/early-summer.  It’s not like Mr. “It’s Another Great Day in St. Petersburg” has to build name ID.

As someone who is fortunate enough to speak often with Mayor Baker about local politics, I tend to believe he won’t “rule out” running again until candidate qualifying closes next Summer.

You just have to read between the lines.

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.