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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Former New Jersey mayor eyes St. Pete race



ST. PETERSBURG-- Controversial political activist Alex Haak said he will run for mayor and file his campaign paperwork Thursday.

Haak, a former Republican politician and mayor of Dover, N.J., miffed local Democratic leaders when he recently started his own political club without the blessing of state party officials.

Haak would be the only mayoral contestant who has held the title before.

He took a swipe at his mayoral opponents when discussing his run.

"I am not the one who is running to be the first black mayor or because I came in second place," he said. "I am the only one running that has the expertise."

He was talking about real estate investor Scott Wagman and former council member Bill Foster, who have made jokes about becoming the city's first black mayor, and former council member Kathleen Ford, who placed second after Rick Baker in the 2001 mayoral race.

Haak said he will manage his own campaign without any staff members.

He also declined to discuss his campaign platform.

"If I give you the whole spiel now there won't be anything to do until September," he said.

UPDATE: Read more about Haak's vision for the city in his press release below.

Haak hand-delivered this press release to the St. Petersburg Times Monday: Download Haak004.pdf.

Some of his most noteworthy statements:  "The most Nat rouges plan I have heard of to date is the one about the stadium. How can they could even suggest the waterfront, to me, is mined boggling. I believe we should (because of our economic problems) stop even think about a new stadium, for the next four years."

"I feel as a foreign born (I was born in the Netherlands) I own this Country everything I have and strongly believe in President Kennedy's words; "not what you country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

The press release is full of typos, including the quote from John Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address, which actually goes, "ask not what your country can do for you-- ask what you can do for your country."

Cristina Silva, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:46am]


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