Will the first candidate who wants to run for St. Petersburg Mayor please stand up!

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By this time in 2009, one needed all of their fingers and toes to count the possible candidates interested in running for Saint Petersburg Mayor and City Council. In addition to the ten candidates who eventually filed to run for Mayor, several others, such as Rick Kriseman and Ken Welch floated their own candidacies as possibilities. In addition to the mayoral candidates, there was a slew of folks lining up this time four years ago to run for the City Council.

Fast-forward to today and the question on many St. Pete residents’ minds is: Where is everybody? The only candidate filed is gadfly Paul Congemi.

Don’t tell me no one is going to stand up and challenge Bill Foster. Leslie Curran, Kathleen Ford, and Kriseman are all considering running. But what more do they need to consider? Foster is who he is and he’s done what he’s done. Either you think he’s beatable or you don’t. Nothing is going to change that dynamic between now and March, April, May. And judging by the latest public opinion polls, anyone thinking of running against Foster is going to need as much time as possible to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign.

In case you didn’t notice during the presidential campaign, races are won long before Election Day. That means campaigns need to start much earlier than they did, oh, four years ago.

And while a fire is being lit under any prospective mayoral candidates — here’s looking at you, Scott Wagman — all of those thinking about running for City Council need to know that it’s time for them to start organizing as well.  Hello, David McKalip. Time to get going, Darden Rice. 

But at least McKalip and Rice are thinking about what they should be thinking about. Only they’re both running in the same district. There’s been barely a peep heard about who hopes to fill Jeff Danner’s seat since he’s term-limited. Katie Ramsberger‘s name keeps popping up, but that’s mostly from people repeating what they read on my blog. 

The new year is here, people. If you are thinking of throwing your hat into the ring, you best be about it.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.