You just knew the Times was setting Deveron Gibbons up on this story. Fortunately for Gibbons, his strong stance against panhandling will resonate with voters, even if it erased whatever hope he had of earning the Times‘ recommendation.
Here is an excerpt from the Times editorial: “St. Petersburg’s mayoral race has degenerated into a contest to see who can be more punitive toward panhandlers. Candidates are jockeying to out-tough one another, with Deveron Gibbons telling voters recently he would “guarantee” that street beggars would no longer be a problem under his administration. Gibbons is either naive or purposely exaggerating, because there are constitutional limits on what the city can do to address the issue. In fact, most of the candidates seem intent on demagoguing the panhandling situation, with many suggesting simplistically that the solution lies in tougher ordinances. Read the rest of the Times editorial here.