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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ken Welch's father could be in a tough spot



ST. PETERSBURG -- Former council member David Welch said he is just as curious as everyone else about whether his son, County Commissioner Ken Welch, will run for mayor.

"There's someone in my office every week saying, 'Get your son to run,' " said the elder Welch, who owns Welch Tax Services & Accounting on 16th Street S.

David Welch could find himself in an uncomfortable position if his son runs. The former council member is a mentor to mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons, and the two serve on the boards of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority and WorkNet Pinellas.

Welch wouldn't comment on whom he would support if Gibbons and his son ran for mayor. "If he runs, we will have to see what happens," Welch said.

Meanwhile, it seems the younger Welch, who picked up a candidate filing report Friday but has yet to turn it in, is keeping his father in the dark. Papa Welch said he had no idea his son was seriously considering a run or that he had e-mailed supporters this weekend.

But Dad said he didn't think his son would enter the campaign without telling him.

"He isn't going to make that decision on his own," Welch said.

UPDATE: Commissioner Ken Welch said he has kept his father updated.

"To be clear, I spoke with my father several days ago to inform him that I was reconsidering the mayor's race and that I would make a decision by the end of the month," Welch wrote in an e-mail last night. "So he hasn't been 'in the dark,' as you stated, although he may not have understood that this is a serious evaluation of options, and not just a cursory look at running."

Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:43am]


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