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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kriseman says never had any plans to discourage pastor's entry into congressional race

ST. PETERSBURG | Mayor Rick Kriseman said he never had any intention to call St. Petersburg pastor Manuel Sykes and tell him not to run for Congress, as was suggested in a voicemail left a few weeks ago by a local Democratic Party leader.

Kriseman said he is not sure why county democratic chairman Mark Hanisee told that to Sykes, who ultimately decided not to run for the seat currently occupied by Republican David Jolly.

The mayor said he had met with Sykes earlier this year about the race and told him to "follow his heart." He also said he game him the names of some other people from whom to seek advice.

"I have deep respect for Pastor Sykes," Kriseman said this week. "I consider him a friend."

Kriseman has not endorsed anyone in the race (yet), including Ed Jany, the Democrats' new candidate who entered last week.

"I haven't even met him," Kriseman said. "So im not taking a position on anything at this time."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:45pm]


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