Scott Wagman, the energetic enigma
ST. PETERSBURG — Maybe Scott Wagman never lost the political bug after serving as Tulane University's hippie-haired, dashiki-clad student body president more than three decades ago. Maybe it's that give-back-to-the-community stuff Depression-era Dad insisted upon. Or maybe he simply suffers from bored rich guy syndrome.
It probably doesn't matter much what possessed Wagman — to the shock of many friends — to run for mayor of St. Petersburg, because he's already in deep: $20,000 of his own money spent on the campaign so far; Sunday after Sunday listening to African-American church services; immersing himself in everything from the Pier's structural deficiencies to Campbell Park's code enforcement problems.
Wagman, 56, has emerged as the biggest wild card in the crowded and unpredictable mayoral contest. He's part city hall outsider, part hard-charging chief executive, and part well-heeled, St. Petersburg establishment type.