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At campaign appearance, Rick Kriseman says the election is all about moving St. Pete forward

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To a cheering crowd of supporters Friday night, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman expressed what will be undoubtedly the predominant theme of his re-election campaign this summer. Kriseman said the election between himself and former Mayor Rick Baker is a simple choice: whether citizens want to keep moving forward or go back in time. “It’s about us deciding as a community who we want to be,” the mayor told more than a hundred people who crammed into a house on North Dr. Martin Luther King…

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Wengay Newton on why he’s supporting Rick Baker — and not Rick Kriseman

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Wengay Newton’s enthusiastic endorsement of Rick Baker in St. Petersburg’s mayoral election has surprised and upset some Pinellas County Democrats, but the veteran pol isn’t losing any sleep over the issue. “It’s a non-partisan race,” the Democratic state Representative from District 70 said. “It has nothing to do with partisanship.” Although the race is non-partisan, Baker is a well-known Republican, while Newton and incumbent Rick Kriseman are prominent Democrats. Newton was one of three people who introduced Baker at his well-choreographed…

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Fifth annual list of Tampa Bay’s 25 Most Powerful Politicians

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Now in its fifth year, SaintPetersBlog/FloridaPolitics.com is offering its annual list of the Most Powerful Politicians in Tampa Bay. In compiling the 2017 list, FloridaPolitics.com queried several of the region’s leading political consultants, activists, bloggers, operatives and local lobbyists to name who they consider the 25 most powerful pols in the area. No suggested names were provided. For this exercise, the Tampa Bay region is defined as Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco, but can also include Hernando, Polk or Sarasota, particularly…

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Government critic Barb Haselden now seeking seat on Pinellas Commission

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Barbara Haselden, a St. Petersburg insurance executive and prominent opponent of the 2014 Greenlight Pinellas transit tax referendum, is running for the Pinellas County Commission. Haselden has her eyes on the District 6 seat being vacated by a retiring John Morroni. Haselden was the leader of No Tax for Tracks, the citizen-driven group formed to oppose Greenlight Pinellas, the referendum which asked for a penny increase in the sales tax to pay for expanded bus service and a 24-mile light rail system linking St. Petersburg…

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#23 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Ken Welch

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Ken Welch easily won another four-year term on the Pinellas County Commission last summer after drawing no opposition. While the longtime local legislator may have angered Tea Party activists who didn’t like his strong support for the Greenlight Pinellas transit issue three years ago, the rest of his constituents seem extremely pleased by his performance on the board, an agency he’s served on four more than 16 years now. He demonstrated leadership skills last summer when some members of the community…

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Rick Kriseman picks-up major endorsements from South St. Pete leaders

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Rick Kriseman announced a number of high-profile endorsements from St. Petersburg’s African-American community Friday as he continues to build momentum for his re-election. State Senator Darryl Rouson, County Commissioner Ken Welch, School Board member Rene Flowers and City Council Vice-Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman all said they would be supporting Kriseman. “Mayor Kriseman has led on important issues and confronted big challenges” said Welch, who has served on the Pinellas County Commission since 2000. “His leadership has helped to bridge what was…

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At neighborhood meeting, Charlie Crist dismisses question about personnel shake-up

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It was supposed to be a simple community meeting. However, Charlie Crist wound up addressing a controversial personnel decision inside his office, which added a bit of drama to the proceedings. Appearing at a community forum in St. Petersburg’s Midtown area Saturday morning, Crist’s visit was advertised as a discussion about the Affordable Care Act, economic development and jobs, education, and voting rights. Ray Tampa, a community activist and former NAACP chapter president, challenged Crist to elaborate on the somewhat…

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