Did Leslie Curran just get knocked out of the 2013 mayoral race?

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One of the surprise attendees at the Pinellas Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday was St. Petersburg City Council Chairwoman Leslie Curran, leading to speculation that Curran is serious about exploring a challenge to Mayor Bill Foster in 2013.

And why not? After Foster shelved plans for a new police headquarters, the Mayor likely lost his last leg of support as police rank-and-file were one of the cornerstones of his winning campaign in 2009.

Yet, Curran may be out of the race before she was ever in it.

News broke on Saturday that Curran is being sued by her landlord (and a former mayoral candidate himself) John Warren to the tune of $46,000.

The lawsuit concerns Curran’s Interior Motives, an art gallery and design business at 1110 Central Ave., and the building that houses it.

Curran denied the lawsuit’s claims, saying “I’ve been paying the rent. It’s a landlord-tenant dispute.”

Warren said “I don’t relish having to take this action. I like Leslie.” But he said he wouldn’t file a lawsuit unless it was necessary.

It’s likely Curran’s situation has come about because of the injury she suffered in a bicycling accident in 2010.  Undoubtedly, her small business suffered during her convalescence and I sympathize with that.

Still, there is little margin for error when challenging an incumbent. Being sued for an amount that is more than what many voters make in a year is an error beyond the margins.

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.