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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kathleen Ford and Bill Foster attend to their friendship in wake of St. Pete mayoral race

6

November

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mayor-elect Bill Foster said he and former rival Kathleen Ford have made up.

The pair have been friends since 1992 and Ford was supporting Foster in the mayoral race before she decided to run against him after they disagreed on some budget issues. The general election soon turned ugly after she mocked his disbelief in evolution and he called her a "divider."

That's all behind them now, said Foster.

"We weren't just acquaintances before," he said. "We were really good friends. Nothing has changed."

He said he planned to get together with Ford before the end of the month.

Ford, however, seemed less bullish about the status of their friendship. She confirmed that Foster apologized this week for some statements he made on the campaign trail.

She said she will likely have a better relationship with Foster than with Mayor Rick Baker, a longtime adversary who trumped her in the 2001 election.

She was still critical of Foster’s policy positions.

“Mr. Foster appears to want to negotiate for a new stadium on behalf of the (Tampa Bay) Rays rather than look out for the best interests of the citizens of St. Petersburg,” she said, vowing to help lead the effort against a stadium.

She said she will continue to keep a close eye on city spending and hopes Foster will, too.

Meanwhile, Ford thanked her supporters.

She also said she was surprised that Foster beat her in absentee ballots. He carried 50.5 percent of the vote before Election Day results were tabulated.

 “I thought we would have been ahead in those. It’s a curious result,” she said.

Read more about Foster and Ford in Sunday's St. Petersburg Times.

Cristina Silva, Times staff writer

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:17pm]

    

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