Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Linda Hersey

Linda Hersey has 54 articles published.

Bill Foster, Rick Kriseman, and City Council hopefuls in final push for votes

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There seemed to be more candidates eager to shake hands than voters this morning at Sunken Gardens, one of the polling places in northeast St. Petersburg. Both mayoral candidates – incumbent Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman – showed up, just minutes apart to meet people arriving to cast ballots. Local activist Lorraine Margeson, who is running against Council member Bill Kennedy, joined them. Margeson said that there seems to be a steady stream of voters at the polls so…

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It’s not the party, it’s the after party! A rundown of where St. Pete’s candidates will be on Election Night

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Industrious party-goers and political gadflies in St. Petersburg can make a night of following voting results Tuesday by visiting gatherings that the City Council and mayoral candidates are organizing. From Red Mesa Cantina to the Manhattan Casino, here’s a chance for voters to kick up their heels at some trendy spots while following the election results. The following is a rundown of election-night watch parties that have been scheduled in St. Petersburg. Mayor Bill Foster will be at the Manhattan…

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Rick Kriseman and Charlie Crist tag-team at morning press conference

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Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist has Rick Kriseman’s back. In a tight race for mayor against Bill Foster, Kriseman was among the Deomcratic VIPs to introduce Crist, who was in St. Pete Monday to formally declare his run for governor. Kriseman described Crist’s second bid to lead the state of Florida – this time as a Democrat – as “a new journey to a familiar place.” He told supporters that Crist is a “forward-thinking leader” who cares about “good policy, not…

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Charlie Crist pledges to ‘return Florida to the middle class’ in his bid for governor

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Attacking Rick Scott as a bully who governs from the fringe, Charlie Crist declared his Democratic candidacy for governor at a press conference Monday and pledged to “return Florida to the middle class.” Speaking at Albert Whitted Park on St. Petersburg’s waterfront, Crist wasted no time in detailing his priorities for leading the state of Florida. They include reversing Scott’s cuts to the Bright Futures scholarship program, creating a Cabinet-level post on global trade, and investing in high-speed rail as…

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Sen. Bill Nelson calls for investigation of Florida’s unemployment benefits website

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a federal investigation into log-on problems and delays that jobless Floridians are having with the state’s new $63 million website for unemployment benefits. Nelson, a Democrat, is asking the Labor Department to look into concerns users are reporting about the Department of Economic Opportunity’s new portal for filing claims for benefits. The so-called CONNECT website debuted last week, after the state stopped accepting claims for several days to phase-in a more secure, fraud-proof …

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Flood insurance hikes may be delayed under agreement involving Bill Nelson, other Gulf Coast lawmakers

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is among a group of Gulf Coast lawmakers expected to file legislation Tuesday to halt a flood insurance rate increase for homeowners. Lawmakers from the House and Senate reportedly have agreed on a bill that would postpone a spike in premiums for property owners in high-risk areas. Pinellas County has the highest number of homeowners in the U.S. who receive subsidized coverage through the nation’s 40-year-old flood insurance program. Florida’s political and business leaders have expressed…

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Bill Foster faces sharp criticism from neighborhoods association leader

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A mayor’s debate sponsored by the Council of Neighborhood Associations briefly turned into a sharp exchange between Mayor Bill Foster and moderator Kurt Donley. Donley, CONA’s president, seemed to focus more on Foster than challenger Rick Kriseman in a series of questions at the start of the forum, billed as a “frank discussion” with the mayoral candidates. After asking both candidates for their views on CONA and its role in the city, Donley demanded to know from Foster why code…

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