Although three debates have been held between St. Petersburg mayoral candidates (but only one with all seven candidates on the ballot), arguably the biggest one will take place Monday, July 25, at the Palladium Theater.
That’s because the forum, which starts at 7 p.m., will be broadcast throughout the city (and all the Tampa Bay area) by Bay News 9, moderated by the station’s Holly Gregory and Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith.
If you want to watch the event in person, free tickets will be available at the Palladium box office starting noon Tuesday. Tickets are limited to two per person.
Only Rick Baker and Rick Kriseman will participate in the debate, a contentious point for the other five candidates on the ballot.
Sponsors of the debate — the Times, Bay News 9 and St. Petersburg College — say they are limiting it only to those candidates because they have decided to rely on fundraising totals to determine which candidates will participate. Both have raised more than half a million dollars to date, by far more than the other candidates in the race.
They are: Jesse Nevel, Anthony Cates III, Paul Congemi, Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter and Ernisa Barnwell.