Welch: Decision soon on St. Pete mayor's race
It's the bomb waiting to drop in the race for St. Petersburg mayor: Will County Commissioner Ken Welch enter the race? Welch, a Democrat, had said a decision would be made by the end of the month, but we may have to wait a few days into February for an announcement.
Welch said today he would go public with a decision by the middle of the coming week. He's to meet with Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, tomorrow. Kriseman has not entered the race but is considered a potential contender, and Welch has said he would bow out if Kriseman runs.
Friday night, Welch said with a chuckle, one of his "infamous" family dinners will take place, where he has traditionally discussed his future political plans.
Welch said the symbolism of being mayor of his hometown is very attractive, but he's also eager to be part of the reshaping of county government that's expected in coming years as revenues contract. Then there's the robust field of legitimate contenders already in place, he said.
"It's the toughest decision I have ever had to make in my political career," Welch said.
Will Van Sant, Times staff writer