Something remarkable happened last night at the Bethel Community Baptist Church on 54 Avenue South in St. Petersburg. There was a Mayoral debate, sponsored in part by The Power Brokerand Grapevine magazine, followed by a straw poll of 116 people. Rick Kriseman utterly and decisively destroyed the competition with 64.7%. Incumbent Mayor Bill Foster — a white man whotold the world last time around that he wanted to be “the first black mayor” of St. Petersburg — came in at an anemic 16.4%. He should worry. A lot.
Kathleen Ford garnered just over 10%, but she managed to blow even that paltry showing. From Mark Puente’s Tampa Bay Times piece today:
After the debate ended, Galladro said organizers sought out a supporter from each campaign to help oversee the ballot counting. They couldn’t find any Ford supporters, Gallardo said.
She pointed to an answer that Ford gave when a resident asked what the candidates had already done to help the struggling Midtown area. Ford said she helped make potato salad at an event in Campbell Park in the 1990s.
If you’re not offended by that statement, then I can’t help you. Ford’s answer to struggling residents in Midtown is that she once made potato salad in Campbell Park. Twenty years ago.
It is an offensive, appalling statement and proves — again— that Kathleen Ford is simply not fit to lead the fourth largest city in Florida.
I used to think that perhaps Ford was just a bad campaigner — hey, not everyone can do it. I figured maybe I just didn’t know her. Maybe she had a brilliant mind for policy.
I was wrong. I’ve heard her a number of times, now, and witnessed displays exactly like this, and it is enough evidence for me: Kathleen Ford is not fit to be mayor of St. Petersburg.
I hope you will support the person with the vision to lead St. Petersburg: Rick Kriseman.