After announcing this week that he has raised more than $400,000 for his re-election, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is spending some of that cash on the first television ad of the campaign.
The ad (called “Moving Forward”) features the mayor briskly walking through various parts of St. Pete, alluding to his work on issues that were front-and-center when he defeated then-incumbent Bill Foster in 2013. Specifically, he refers to the Pier, the future of the Tampa Bay Rays stadium issue, and a new police station for the SPPD.
“Four years ago, St. Pete had big problems,” the mayor says in the ad. But we tackled them head on, and today, St. Pete is a city moving forward.” says Kriseman in the spot. “It’s a new day for the police department and our community. We ended the stalemate with the Rays,. And we’re building a new world-class pier. There’s still a sewer system to finish and more opportunity to create all over this city, but I know we can make sure St. Pete keeps moving forward.”
Perhaps most importantly, Kriseman also alludes to an issue that was not part of the 2013 campaign, but probably will be used by his opponents this year: the city’s sewage problems, which ultimately led to the mayor and City Council announcing that they will spend more than $300 million infrastructure plan to improve the sewer system.
On Tuesday, the mayor joined in the celebrating at Al Lang Stadium, after 87 percent of the voting public in St. Petersburg voted to extend the lease of Al Lang Stadium to Bill Edwards and his Tampa Bay Rowdies soccer team. Among those he reveled in the celebrating with was former mayor Rick Baker, who was the point man in educating the public about the referendum. Rumors have floated for months that Baker will challenge Kriseman for his re-election bid.
“To my knowledge, it’s the earliest an ad has ever been aired in a mayoral election,” says Jacob Smith, Kriseman’s campaign manager.
You can watch the ad below: