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 far – just not in high numbers.
All three candidates said they cast their ballots first thing this morning before making the last-minute push for votes.
The brief interlude this morning allowed for some humor in what has been a tight race for mayor. The two mayoral candidates have seen each other weekly, facing off in about two dozen debates.
“The hardest part of this election is that I like the guy I’m running against,” Kriseman said, as Foster stood next to him greeting residents. “We both go back a long way together,” added Kriseman, referring to their years serving on the City Council together.
“Yeah, but he’s a lot older than I am,” Foster quipped. The two laughed.
Really, the age difference is close – the candidates are just months apart. Foster is 50, and Kriseman is 51. Both are St. Petersburg attorneys.