State Rep. Rick Kriseman won't run for mayor
ST. PETERSBURG -- After weeks of pseudo announcements, it comes down to this: State Rep. Rick Kriseman is not running for mayor.
Here is the statement he posted on his Web site today:
"For quite awhile now, people I respect have encouraged me to run for mayor of St. Petersburg. I’m always honored and humbled when someone approaches me about it, because the job of mayor has never been more important. I personally have a strong desire to see St. Petersburg shine through this period of economic downturn, and to thrive again as a safe, diverse community, with strong neighborhoods, a vibrant arts scene, a sense of place, and a government which is open and accessible.
"Aside from the personal encouragement I’ve received, various news outlets have included my name when listing the current candidates or potential candidates. It is true that I’ve given it a great deal of thought lately.
"An opportunity like this doesn’t come along often, and as I’m always thinking of how best to serve my community, I simply couldn’t just rule it out. Also, because such a decision for me is personal, and not political, it hasn’t come easily or swiftly. After having given this decision the thought and attention it deserves, I now know this: I do not intend to run for mayor in 2009.
"There are some good people running for this office, including friends and former colleagues, and there are still others who may join the race. While the city has made positive growth during my time on council and since I’ve left, there remains much work to be done. I stand ready to assist the next mayor and will do all I can to help move this city forward.
"Finally, I want to thank all those who encouraged me to run, and would especially like to thank former St. Pete Mayor David Fischer and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio for sharing their time and wisdom with me.
"I ask for your continued support as I help to address Florida’s challenges."
Meanwhile, Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch said he will postpone his mayoral decision until Wednesday. For weeks, Kriseman and Welch said they wouldn't run if the other did.
Welch said Kriseman indicated he wasn't going to enter the race when the two met for lunch Friday.
"It wasn't a surprise, and I'm frankly glad that we will continue to have his leadership in Tallahassee," he said.
Cristina Silva, Times Staff Writer