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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Most St. Petersburg City Council members support Rick Kriseman over Mayor Bill Foster



ST. PETERSBURG — A majority of the City Council now backs challenger Rick Kriseman over Mayor Bill Foster.

Kriseman on Wednesday landed the endorsement of council member Jeff Danner, bringing the number of council members who have publicly endorsed him to five of eight.

Danner, who supported Foster in the 2009 race, believes Kriseman is a decisive leader who can move the city forward.

"Mayor Foster has failed to demonstrate any leadership in developing a vision to move St. Petersburg forward," Danner said in a statement. "Rick recognizes the positive impact a strong mayor can have on St. Petersburg and the entire region, especially on an issue like mass transit."

Others council members backing Kriseman: Steve Kornell, Charlie Gerdes, Leslie Curran and Karl Nurse. Wengay Newton supported Kathleen Ford in the primary election.

Foster is unfazed by Kriseman's council support.

"It's partisan politics and political philosophies," Foster said Wednesday after a 10:30 a.m. candidate forum on the arts at Studio@620.

Kriseman welcomed the support.

"It's great to add Councilman Jeff Danner to our broad, bipartisan list of supporters," he said in a statement. "He has long advocated for many of the same issues I've highlighted in this campaign, such as jobs, public transportation and strong neighborhoods. His independence and commitment to public policy has served our city well."

It is unclear if the endorsements will make it harder for Foster to push any agendas or pass important legislation before the Nov. 5 election. The council must pass a budget by the end of the month.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 2:28pm]


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