On Thursday, after it was announced that former Mayor Rick Baker would be joining the Edwards Group, I named Bill Foster the luckiest person in St. Petersburg because Baker’s move makes it highly unlikely that Baker will run for his old job in 2013.
With Baker unlikely to run next year, the field is cleared of the one opponent Foster could not even run against, much less beat.
All of that said, an astute observer of St. Pete politics points out just how lucky Foster really is. In addition to clearing the field, Baker is now going to work on BayWalk and the Mahaffey and several other projects — the success of which directly impacts Foster’s chances at re-election. Foster himself has not been able to get much done with BayWalk, but now he has Baker, the ultimate to-do list buster, tackling one of the most pressing issues facing the city.
The entire situation is a win-win for Foster because if Baker and Edwards don’t get The Shops of St. Pete (as BayWalk will be known) off the ground, Foster can just blame Baker.
It’s more likely, however, that Baker, Edwards and the Shops will be a ringing success. And that’s just what Foster needs as he asks voters for a second term.