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Monday’s mayoral wrap-up

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

This past week saw an increased level of activity from almost every candidate running for Mayor. Here’s a recap with analysis.
Jamie Bennett took a hit for my volunteering on his campaign, but his campaign showed off its early organizational strength, launching a campaign website and hosting a campaign kick-off attended by just under 100 people.
Kathleen Ford is circling the race like a hungry shark in shallow waters, having resigned her membership in the organization opposed to a stadium at Al Lang. One rumor had it that former city council member Virginia Littrell may run her campaign.
Bill Foster announced that he has retained The Mallard Group to consult on his campaign, just as he had done before in his city council campaigns. TMG certainly brings a great deal of creative talent, but is its principal plugged-in enough into city politics? For example, during a recent meeting on an unrelated issue, Hebert was said to have not even known who Scott Wagman was.
Deveron Gibbons stayed out of the limelight last week after getting off to a strong start by announcing lists of political and religious supporters.
Scott Wagman threw down the gauntlet this week, promising to raise $500,000 for his campaign — more than twice the amount Rick Baker raised during his campaign. It was unclear whether the figure included any of Wagman’s own money because he certainly could afford it. Wagman, smart and well-financed, remains one of the biggest enigmas of the race.
Speaking of enigmas, this is the week by when Ken Welch said he would decide if he was running. It’s the million dollar question really because Commissioner Welch would be giving up at least that much in salary and benefits (assuming he serves just eight more years on the commission). I have been a proponent of Ken Welch for a long time, and I would wake up happy if he or Bennett were mayor. But I just can’t see how it’s in his own best interests to give up his seat on the commission to compete in a multi-candidate primary.

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.

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