Ford prevails in chamber straw poll
ST. PETERSBURG -- If it were up to the people who cast ballots at a St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday night, Kathleen Ford would be St. Petersburg's next mayor.
Ford won 53 percent of the vote compared to rival Bill Foster, who picked up 47 percent of the vote, according to Jessica Eilerman, the chamber's public policy director.
Roughly 100 people voted. Attendees were allowed one vote each.
Foster and Ford each gave a short stump speech during the event. It seems the candidates will spend the remainder of the campaign addressing their opponent's greatest political liabilities.
"I really believe in science and technology and that is the way of the future," Ford said, noting one of the major differences between her and Foster, who has said he believes the world was literally created in six days as explained in the Bible's Genesis account.
Ford also noted that property taxes soared during the years Foster served on the City Council.
On the heels of complaints that Ford did not work well with others while on the City Council, Foster said, "I have the temperament and the experience and the education to build consensus."
In the District 2 race, former police chief Stephen Corsetti picked up 56 percent of the vote, trumping City Council member Jim Kennedy.
In the District 4 race, City Council member Leslie Curran easily won with 75 percent of the vote over educator Pamella Settlegoode.
In the District 5 race, social worker Steve Kornell won 69 percent of the vote over Angela Rouson. It's worth noting the Kornell camp paid the $5 cover for some supporters to enter the event so they could cast votes.
In the District 6 race, City Council member Karl Nurse collected 85 percent of the vote over student Vel Thompson.
In the District 8 race, City Council Chairman Jeff Danner earned 65 percent of the vote over consultant Leonard Schmiege.