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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rick Baker: No, I'm not looking at running for mayor again



The New Year is a time for assessing the future and setting goals. So we figured it past time to check in with Rick Baker, the Republican former St. Petersburg mayor. Are his days in politics winding down or winding up again?

He loves public service, his current job as St. Petersburg businessman Bill Edwards' local fixer seems to be at a turning point with the Sundial development more or less complete, his kids are no longer youngsters, and his prospects for winding up in a President Jeb Bush administration appear a whole lot slimmer today than a year ago.

Baker is widely viewed as the only Republican with any shot of winning the Pinellas County Congressional seat currently held by Republican David Jolly, but redrawn to heavily favor a Democrat. Baker has a history winning overwhelmingly Democratic African-American votes in St. Petersburg.

Republican Mark Bircher is running, but at this point it's likely the next Congressional District 13 representative will be chosen in the Democratic primary between former Gov. Charlie Crist and former Defense Department official Eric Lynn.

So what's Baker thinking? Not much that he wanted to discuss publicly. He said he is still keeping the door open on a congressional run, and he dismissed an intriguing rumor that he is interesting in running for mayor against Rick Kriseman in 2017

"That is not on my radar screen right now," Baker said.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 14, 2016 1:32pm]


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