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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Despite money gap, Kathleen Ford slightly ahead of Bill Foster in St. Petersburg mayor's race



ST. PETERSBURG — Mayoral candidates Kathleen Ford and Bill Foster have run strikingly different campaigns despite their shared ambition and similar backgrounds.

Ford, 52, a lawyer and former City Council member, developed a grass roots, family-run campaign fueled on volunteers, graphs and criticisms of City Hall. Her paltry war chest of almost $79,000 limited her outreach efforts to personal appearances, door knocking and phone banking.

Foster, 46, a lawyer and former City Council member, built a professional, well-financed campaign supported by many of the city's business and political leaders. His robust campaign coffers ($230,818) allowed for two television advertisements, dozens of colorful mailers and regular lunches for his volunteers.

Yet, the candidates are statistically tied, with Ford leading slightly, according to a recent St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll that showed her with 39 percent of the vote, followed by Foster with 34, and 24 percent undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:14pm]


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