Tampa Bay Times endorses Rick Kriseman, slams Bill Foster

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The Tampa Bay Times offered their recommendation for Mayor of St. Petersburg, and it they could not have made it any clearer they like Rick Kriseman. Again and again they recognize Kriseman for his leadership, his vision, and his experience:

Rick Kriseman has the breadth of experience and leadership qualities to lead St. Petersburg with new energy and a fresh approach.

Kriseman is better positioned to build goodwill and move the city forward.

Kriseman strongly supported public education during his six years in the Legislature. As mayor, he would keep working to incorporate community service more broadly into public schools.

Kriseman is genuinely more interested — and not just at election time — in helping the city’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. 

Indeed, “Kriseman,” they tell us in plain terms, “is the better choice.”

There are several kinds of editorial endorsements. Most editorials speak specifically to a candidate’s qualifications, his or her experience, his or her vision. They are, generally, forward-looking, positive pieces written to offer a reason — or reasons — for supporting one candidate over another.

In this instance, the Times editorial staff went out of their way to not only offer Kriseman heavy praise, but to criticize incumbent Bill Foster as well. 

Over the past four years, Mayor Bill Foster has demonstrated he lacks the skill to build consensus, the imagination to solve problems and the vision to move the city forward. 

Foster asks voters to judge him on his record. It is not a flattering report card.

Four years ago, we recommended Foster as the best choice to succeed Rick Baker and at least maintain St. Petersburg’s momentum. He has not met our modest expectations, and his failure to build relationships and speak candidly with residents is particularly disappointing.

It’s a strong editorial for Rick Kriseman — and a strong indictment against the incumbent.