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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Qualifying and an endorsement in St. Petersburg mayoral race

Campaign news is emerging in the quest to become the next mayor of Florida’s fourth-largest city.

Challenger Rick Kriseman, a former City Council member and former state lawmaker, became the only St. Petersburg mayoral candidate on Wednesday to qualify for the Aug. 27 ballot by gathering signatures on petitions, according to his campaign.

Candidates who don’t collect over 1,000 signatures can simply pay a $250 fee to get on the ballot. Others in the race include Mayor Bill Foster, former City Council member Kathleen Ford, Paul Congemi and Anthony Cates.

Kriseman’s team says “campaign often get candidates on the ballot by petition in order to test the strength of the early stages of their organization.

“I’m proud to qualify on the ballot by petition,” Kriseman said. “I think it speaks to the strength of the grassroots organization we’ve built to get our message out to every voter in St. Petersburg.”

Foster announced more support Thursday from the Fraternal Order of Police, Pinellas Lodge 43. The support follows endorsement and donations from police unions all across the region.

“It was Bill’s proven record of continued support for law enforcement and the safety of our citizens that sets him far above other candidates,” said Karl Lounge, FOP President.

While Foster racks up support from police unions, Buzz wonders how much this will help him when voters cast ballots. Hundreds of police officers live outside of St. Petersburg and can’t vote in city elections.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:56am]


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