Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Here’s how St. Pete’s elected officials are enjoying their Thanksgiving

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Perhaps the most treasured of all Thanksgiving traditions is sharing with friends and family those things you’re grateful about. This year we asked elected officials in St. Pete to share their Thanksgiving plans, traditions and various favorites.

Mayor Rick Kriseman:

“I cook the turkey on thanksgiving.  I live to cook the turkey.  It has an herb crust with an apricot glaze. I also make the gravy from the drippings and onions and shallots that are blended.

“Definitely one of my favorite holidays. Good food, family, and football.”

City Councilwoman Darden Rice:

“Julie and I always host Thanksgiving at our home. I love the reflection and thoughtfulness of the holiday, as well as the chance to spend time with  family. We are having family over from Philadelphia, Austin, and Sun City. Our nephew, a freshman at Eckerd College, is bringing his Vermont roommate. I know this sounds scandalous, but we traded turkey for prime rib at the urging of our red-meat relatives.

“We also do an incredible grilled curry vegetarian dish with root vegetables for the vegetarians in our crowd. Otherwise, we stay traditional with the sides and homemade apple pie, using family recipes from our respective grandmothers and moms.”

City Councilman Bill Dudley:

“My wife and I have rented a house in the mountains just outside of Waynesville, N.C., for Thanksgiving. Our 2 children (adults) and families will celebrate together. Since we all live in St. Pete it becomes a nice getaway. We are spending the week and plan to do a lot of things together. We have 4 grandchildren ages 10, 7, and twin 3-year-olds. The 10 of us plus 2 dogs will have a great Thanksgiving dinner.”

City Councilman Karl Nurse:

“I like Thanksgiving for simple reasons: It is a rare 4-day weekend that I actually take, it is a family oriented and low pressure holiday, which always includes some long-distance  relatives and finally, I spend Friday with my bride as she shops and we go out for lunch.

“As someone who works at least a 6 day week, this quite a change. The Macy’s parade starts the holiday.”

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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