The way I genuinely feel about St. Petersburg’s mayoral race is that if the Earth had opened up under the stage where Kathleen Ford, Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman were sitting during their televised debate and swallowed the three of them, I would not be upset.
My only interest at this point is stopping Kathleen Ford. Who wins after that is really not my concern.
So I would be lying if I said I did not find some delight in watching Ford last night prove for the umpteenth time what most of us have known for going on three decades: She does not have the temperament to be Mayor of St. Petersburg.
Or as John Romano of the Tampa Bay Times opined about Ford’s performance last night, she “failed rather spectacularly.”
“Ford did the one thing she absolutely could not afford to do: She looked petty and vindictive when trying to embarrass Kriseman about an obscure, long-ago dispute concerning sensitivity training on the City Council,” writes Romano.
What Romano and the Times did not report is that Ford attempted to link this dispute — the so-called Krispy Kreme incident — to Kriseman’s association with Democratic operative Kevin King.
As Mitch Perry observed, Kriseman seemed dumbfounded to have to answer the question, saying that, well, he couldn’t believe of all the things going on in this campaign she would resort to bringing up that golden oldie.
I cannot for the life of me understand what drove Ford to ask such a tortured question. I do not understand why she would play the Kevin King card when there aren’t five voters in the city who know who Kevin King is.
There was a time, of course, when Kevin and I were cordial with each other. But I worked on the campaign which beat his beloved Chris Eaton. I also worked on the Ernest Williams Campaign which defeated his Darden Rice Campaign (a regret both Darden and I have is her hiring Kevin instead of me for that race; both her life and mine would have been a lot different had that not happened).
Relations with Kevin were on their way out the window when he tried to resurrect Chris Eaton while I was working for Liz McCallum.
That’s when I launched this nuclear attack, leaking the truth about Kevin’s background.
And there began my blood feud with King. As I’ve written before Kriseman’s association with King is one reason why I struggle with supporting Kriseman.
But I’ve made enough mistakes in my life to know that people change — Lord knows I have. Like Kevin, I regret the mistakes I made earlier in my career and wish everyday things could be different. Fortunately, both Kevin and I have proven people deserve second chances.
Unfortunately, it would appear Kathleen Ford does not.