It’s gonna be a helluva race: Republican Kathleen Peters to challenge Dem. Rick Kriseman for State House seat

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Watch out Representative Rick Kriseman, you have a helluva race on your hands.

South Pasadena Mayor Kathleen Peters has filed to run for the newly-drawn District 69 in Pinellas County. The seat had been a reliably Democratic seat for the last two decades, with Lars Hafner preceding Kriseman.

However, under the current redistricting plan, the seat has been redrawn with a one percent Republican performance advantage, making it ripe for a strong Republican to jump into the race and challenge Kriseman.

But if you ask Kriseman, he’s pining to run in the new seat. Kevin King, err, I mean Kriseman recently posted on his Facebook and  website:

“I do not believe the proposals are constitutional, but if the Florida Supreme Court affirms that Amendments 5 and 6 were followed to the letter and spirit of the law, I will be satisfied with the maps and honored to run for and represent whatever district my home is in. Whether the district leans Democrat or Republican, I am confident that the voters will look past party labels and vote for the person that will best represent them and fight for them day in and day out.”

Kriseman vs. Peters will be a helluva race.  One one side will be an incumbent Democrat who is close allies with some of the most important Democrats in the state, including Steve Schale.  On the other side will be a popular local mayor with all of the resources the RPOF can muster.

Keep your eyes on this race.

Update: Here is an official profile on Peters:

Kathleen Peters answered the call to serve her local community by first serving on the City of South Pasadena’s Planning and Zoning Board and then was elected to the City Commission in 2008 for a three-year term. In 2009, Kathleen was elected by the Commission to serve as Mayor for the unfinished term of her predecessor and re-elected in 2010 for a three year term. In 2008, she served on the Florida League of Cities Finance and Taxation Committee and the League’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee in 2009-2010. Kathleen also serves on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, and Pinellas County EMS Council.
In 2009, Kathleen joined the leadership team at the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce in the position of Vice President of Public Affairs. In this role she monitors all local, state and federal legislation relative to the commerce community.
Kathleen was nominated for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce 2006 Woman of Distinction Award and was named Princess of the Queen of Hearts Royal Court in 2005 for outstanding community service. She is a past member of the Advisory Board for the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center and she has chaired major fundraising events for the St. Petersburg Museum of History, Queen of Hearts Royal Court, Boys and Girls Clubs, and several private schools.

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.