Endorsement wars in St. Petersburg's District 4
ST. PETERSBURG -- Qualifying for St. Petersburg City Council candidates officially began Tuesday, but candidates in District 4 already have been campaigning. Carolyn Fries and Darden Rice recently begam publicizing endorsements they received, and fellow candidate David McKalip is planning a news conference for Wednesday.
McKalip, a neurosurgeon, said that in his news conference he will discuss a plan to help the city reduce its garbage bills, and he also will express opposition to a “mandatory recycling program” for St. Petersburg.
Fries, former president of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association who also has been involved in local high-tech start-up companies, has recently been endorsed by: Former Republican State Rep. Frank Farkas, of St. Petersburg, who said in a statement that “Her engineering background and business experience will bring a unique perspective to the City Council. In addition, her ability to bring people together will play a significant role in moving the city forward" and former St. Petersburg City Council member Connie Kone, who says: “Her educational background, business experience and dedication to community service make her well qualified to serve on the city council.”
Meanwhile candidate Darden Rice, a community organizer ad past president of the city’s League of Women Voters, has recently been endorsed by: Rep Mark Danish, D-Tampa, who says that “Through her numerous leadership roles with the League of Women Voters and the PSTA, Darden has proven herself to be a dedicated public servant;" the West Central Florida Federation of Labor (WCFFL/AFL-CIO), which praised “her record of community advocacy and her record of supporting working families;" and U.S. Rep Kathy Castor, the Democratic congresswoman who represents Tampa, a portion of St. Petersburg and shoreline neighborhoods of Hillsborough County. Castor said “We have worked together to protect and restore the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay and ensure that our local businesses succeed and grow.”