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Rip Van Williams considers mayoral run

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Having nothing to do at home, and being arrived at that happy age when a man can do nothing with impunity, he took his place once more on the bench at the inn door and was reverenced as one of the patriarchs of the village and a chronicle of the old times…” — Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving.

With every passing week, another politician ponders his chances of becoming St. Petersburg’s next Mayor. Ken Welch considered, then passed. Rick Kriseman was in, then out (yet always thinking ‘what if’). This week, it’s Larry Williams’ turn to ponder his chances. “I’ve been not necessarily out of the loop, but I’ve been in the background for some time,” he said to Cristina Silva in this wonderful display of journalistic fishing. “I’m the kind of guy, I have to make sure my mind is where it needs to be before I do something.” If Larry were to decide to run, it would be akin to ol’ Rip Van Winkle returning to his village after a long nap. Just like ol’ Rip, Larry is a good, decent man, with a beautiful family, but time has passed him. This city was a different world eight years ago when Larry first ran for Mayor, and while Bill Foster may want to turn back the clock, the majority of the residents of this city do not.

Larry Van Williams, if he wanted us to take him seriously as a candidate, would have spent the last eight years in greater service to his community. He would have served on more boards, given more hours to charity, been more visible to the people he now wants to lead.

Poor Larry, if he had been a less passive man, would have found a way to win 200 more votes than Kathleen Ford did eight years ago. Of course, he would have lost nobly to Rick Baker, but he would have been a viable candidate today. Instead, it’s as if he has taken a nap for eight years and expects everything to be the same.

I’m sorry, Larry, but cities, like time, wait for no man.

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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