With Rick Kriseman trailing Rick Baker in the latest poll of St. Petersburg’s mayoral race, the Florida Democratic Party is paying for a new ad linking the former mayor with President Donald Trump.
Whether national politics will trickle down to the local level is something the Kriseman team is banking on, though it hasn’t been reflected yet in the polls.
The 30-second ad also tries to connect Baker with other Republicans, including Mitt Romney and Rick Scott.
“Rick Baker is on the extreme team, siding with climate change deniers, silent on Donald Trump’s countless discriminatory policies, Baker is weak and out of touch with our values,” a female narrator says to begin the ad.
The spot then segues into praising Kriseman for working with Democrats like Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Charlie Crist.
From the beginning of his campaign, Baker warned St. Pete residents that the Kriseman campaign would criticize him for being a Republican in a city that is overwhelmingly Democratic.
The mayoral race, in theory, is nonpartisan, but both campaigns are being heavily supported by their respective political parties.
“Republican Rick Baker is happy to take big checks from right-wing conservatives and Trump Republicans, but doesn’t want to talk about whether or not he supports the Trump agenda,” said FDP spokesperson Johanna Cervone. “Mayor Rick Kriseman, on the other hand, has been clear about his support and partnership with the former Obama administration as well as his firm opposition to Donald Trump’s harmful GOP policies. Since Rick Baker insists on misleading voters about his Republican ties, the Florida Democratic Party’s new ad will let voters know where he really stands.”