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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kriseman weighed in on City Council race because of hateful mailer



St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said he decided to wade into the ugly City Council race between Will Newton and Lisa Wheeler-Brown after he saw a pro-Newton mailer over the weekend that he said was doctored to "play to the worst."

Kriseman endorsed Wheeler-Brown on Monday.

The mailer in question has two photos of Wheeler-Brown. Kriseman said it appeared to him that her photo had been touched up to make her skin darker and her facial features "doctored."

"That mail piece was the final straw," Kriseman said. "It plays on steretypes and hate. It's an old tactic that doesn't have a place in our city."

Both Wheeler-Brown and Newton are black. Kriseman said he respected Newton, but blamed his campaign for going "really negative and ugly."

Neither Newton nor his campaign manager, Steve Lapinski, responded to requests for comment.

"I don't want a council member who is prepared to be as negative and toxic as necessary to get elected," Kriseman said. 

The election is tomorrow. 

[Last modified: Monday, November 2, 2015 6:58pm]


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