Former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker mentioned again as possible Romney cabinet member

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Former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker has been mentioned again as a possible Cabinet member in a prospective Mitt Romney administration.

On the prominent conservative website The Blaze, Baker is pegged as the “exciting” choice for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The former two-term mayor would be “a strong ideological choice, but would also be able to get some support from urban Democrats, given his ideas about investing heavily in downtown areas.”

Back in January, Romney quietly tapped Baker, as the campaign’s adviser on urban policy. Last year, after leaving his mayoral post in 2010, Baker penned a book on his conservative urban revitalization approach that “can work anywhere.”

This latest mention is yet another indication that Baker may be on his way to Washington were Romney to win the White House.

Russ Pulliam of the Indianapolis Star reported in August about Baker’s trip to Indianapolis to meet with Mayor Greg Ballard on his way to address a National League of Cities forum in Fort Wayne. As Pulliam noted, in Republican circles, Baker has taken up the mantle of the late Jack Kemp, who served in President George H.W. Bush’s Cabinet and later ran for vice president with Bob Dole.

Baker’s host on that trip to Indy, Sagamore Institute President Jay Hein, described Baker this way: “He’s the first Republican since Jack Kemp to be passionate about urban reform.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.