Gerdes nabs endorsement in City Council race
ST. PETERSBURG -- Attorney Charlie Gerdes sure wants to be viewed as the favorite in the City Council District 1 race.
On Tuesday, his campaign issued a widely-circulated news release that announced state Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, was endorsing him for the city's western district he represented from 2001 to 2006. Just last week, his campaign touted that he had raised the most ($15,000) in a three-way race that included former council member Robert Kersteen and financial consultant Josh Shulman.
Kriseman announced his endorsement at a July 13 fundraiser at The Westy, a new West Side Business District eatery.
"It's not often that a one-time political opponent becomes af riend and supporter, but that's what Charlie Gerdes has become," Kriseman said. "I'm pleased to return the favor now that Charlie is running for the seat I once held...His passion for people and policy compliments his longtime involvement in our community. I believe he is well-positioned to help fix our city's problems and move us forward."
Although one-time rivals, is it really that much a surprise that Kriseman endorsed Gerdes? With Kriseman mulling a run for mayor in 2013, he'll need a friend from his former district to give him a boost, so why not bet on the guy who raised the most cash so far? And while city races are supposedly non-partisan, could you imagine Kriseman blowing off Gerdes, a fellow Dem, in favor of Kersteen, a staunch Republican?
-- Michael Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer