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Rick Kriseman, Rick Baker and five longshots qualify for ballot in St. Pete’s mayoral contest

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The deadline to qualifying to run in this year’s election for mayor of St. Petersburg ended at 5 p.m. on Friday, and the field of candidates is now set at seven.

The primary election is August 29.

Leading the field are the two Rick’s – incumbent Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker.

Also making it on the ballot are Ernisa Barnwell, Anthony Cates III, Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter, Jesse Nevel, the national chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, and perennial candidate Paul Congemi.

There are 67 days before the election.

The first mayoral debate will take place next Tuesday, June 27, at the Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church at 6:00 p.m.

An official associated with the debate says that only those candidates polling at 10 percent or above are invited, meaning it will just be Kriseman and Baker participating.

The Tampa Bay Times says they are limiting its sponsored debate with Bay News 9 on July 25 to include just Kriseman and Baker as well. They are basing the criteria not on polling information, but on fundraising prowess. Both Kriseman and Baker have raised over half a million dollars to date in the race.

That prompted Nevel to hold a protest outside the Times’ offices on Thursday, where he accused the daily of attempting to silence his message.


Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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