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Janet Cruz crosses Tampa Bay to campaign for Rick Kriseman

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Florida House Minority Leader Janet Cruz made the trip across Tampa Bay this weekend to canvass for incumbent St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman‘s re-election effort.

Cruz, a Democrat who represents Northwestern Hillsborough County through downtown Tampa, is signifying a serious investment of resources by the Florida Democratic Party toward re-electing Kriseman in what has traditionally been a nonpartisan race.

On Saturday, Cruz, talked about supporting Kriseman to an early morning shift of volunteers before hitting the campaign trail.

“I’ve known Mayor Kriseman for quite some time and I am so proud to be supporting my friend for reelection,” Cruz said. “Rick has done incredible things for St. Pete that have made life better for everyone who lives in the Tampa Bay area.”

Cruz also pointed out how Kriseman, “lowered crime, brought jobs and economic development” to the city, as well as tackling climate change “head on.”

Cruz added: “Rick has always stood up for what’s right, and I know he will stand up to harmful GOP policies to keep St. Pete moving forward.”

“I admire the work Leader Cruz does to bring accountability and common sense to Tallahassee,” Kriseman said. “She knows the importance of standing up for what you believe, which is why I’m honored to have her support.”

Kriseman faces a crowded primary field Aug. 29, which includes his leading opponent — former two-term Mayor Rick Baker — as well as Anthony Cates III, Paul Congemi, Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter and Jesse Nevel. Candidate Ernisa Barnwell had been disqualified due to a filing error, and any vote cast for her will not count.

The top two candidates in the Aug. 29 primary will go on to the Nov. 7 general election

Mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Election Day at one of the Pinellas elections offices: 315 Court St, Room 117, in Clearwater; 13001 Starkey Rd, Largo (Starkey Lakes Corporate Center) and 501 First Ave. N (Fifth St. N Entrance), St. Petersburg. Office hours are Monday — Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election Day hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Rick Kriseman and Janet Cruz speak to the campaign’s first shift of volunteers before hitting the campaign trail.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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