Florida House Minority Leader Janet Cruz made the trip across Tampa Bay this weekend to canvass for incumbent St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman‘s re-election effort. Cruz, a Democrat who represents Northwestern Hillsborough County through downtown Tampa, is signifying a serious investment of resources by the Florida Democratic Party toward re-electing Kriseman in what has traditionally been a nonpartisan race.
Although not universally embraced (most prominently by some conservative Hillsborough Republicans), most observers considered the Cross-Bay Ferry pilot project last winter and spring a success. The ferry was also a positive example of the region coming together on at least one project to deal with the vexing issue of transportation.
More than 22,000 ballots have been cast ahead of for St. Petersburg’s Aug. 29 mayoral and City Council District 6 primaries. Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark posted updated vote-by-mail numbers showing that, as of Thursday afternoon, 67,348 mail ballots have been sent, with just over 32 percent — 21,830 — have returned. By party, 10,113 Democrats, 8,003 Republicans and 3,714 NPR/other have cast votes.
There have been some intense, sharp-edged encounters between Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker as the two men compete this summer to become mayor of St. Petersburg for the next four years. Wednesday night’s encounter at the Museum of Fine Arts wasn’t one of them.
Rick Baker is looking to finish strong ahead of the St. Petersburg mayoral primary Tuesday, August 29. In his push to build a “Seamless City,” the former two-term Mayor will hold a final fundraiser in the primary contest, set for Tuesday, August 22 at 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, 400 Beach Dr. NE. in downtown St. Pete. Suggested minimum contribution is $50 per attendee.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman travels across Tampa Bay once again this week for a Tampa fundraiser to support his re-election effort. According to the invite, the Thursday reception is to “celebrate the progress of the past three years in St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.”
With Rick Kriseman trailing Rick Baker in the latest poll of St. Petersburg’s mayoral race, the Florida Democratic Party is paying for a new ad linking the former mayor with President Donald Trump. Whether national politics will trickle down to the local level is something the Kriseman team is banking on, though it hasn’t been reflected yet in the polls.