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Rick Kriseman attending Hillary Clinton “conversation” at Alex Sink’s home

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman already announced he’s backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Now the Democrat is encouraging residents to join him in a campaign stop in Tampa.

“This will be the Clinton campaign’s first time in the Tampa Bay area and your first opportunity to meet Secretary Clinton,” Kriseman wrote on his personal Facebook page Friday. “You won’t want to miss this opportunity.”

Kriseman is one of a growing list of Clinton-supporting mayors who, as of last month, included 135 from across the country.

But the post asking supporters to donate to the Clinton campaign came with mixed reactions from his followers. Of 11 comments on the post, five indicated they were Bernie Sanders supporters and one other hinted she was.

“I’m supporting Bernie Sanders and his SuperPAC-Free (sic) campaign,” wrote Cesar Centeno Jr., a Tampa resident.

St. Pete resident and, according to Facebook, Tampa Bay Rowdies’ Ralph’s Mob President Jason Bruzzichesi wrote that he respects Clinton’s efforts, but is “supporting Bernie Sanders and his true progressive campaign.

But even though Kriseman’s post got a bit of pushback from Sanders supporters, most of the comments still reflected positively on Kriseman.

“So, I don’t ALWAYS agree with my favorite mayor,” wrote St. Pete activist Lucinda Johnston. “But he’s still my favorite.”

Though, the show of support from commenters isn’t too surprising considering they come from Kriseman’s Facebook “friends.”

It’s also worth noting the link to Clinton’s event on Dec. 2 at the home of former Florida CFO Alex Sink is posted to Kriseman’s personal Facebook page. It is not an endorsement on his “public figure” page.

Such a post to a page linked to his official duties as mayor could have drawn speculation about whether it was appropriate to post a link soliciting donations or promote an event where there’s a reasonable expectation to contribute to the Clinton campaign.

Regardless, what’s perhaps most notable about Kriseman’s Clinton endorsement is it’s almost seemingly contradiction of another endorsement. Kriseman recently endorsed Eric Lynn for the Pinellas County Congressional District 13 seat over establishment candidate Charlie Crist.

Clinton, by contrast is widely seen as the establishment candidate in the Democratic Primary against self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also endorsed Clinton, but has not endorsed a candidate in the Pinellas congressional race.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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