Rick Kriseman is next mayor of St. Petersburg, Fla Dems cheer
ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg has a new mayor.
Challenger Rick Kriseman topped Mayor Bill Foster with 56 percent of the vote compared to Foster's 44 percent, according to the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Office.
Kriseman, 51, gathered with supporters at Nova 535, but was huddled in a back room to receive results privately with his family. A Kriseman worker escorted Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn into the room about 7:45 p.m.
"I think voters have sent a message that they're ready for change, and I'm ready to be that agent of change," said Kriseman, flanked by supporters that included council member Wengay Newton. "We need to get away from saying no to everything and work toward yes."
Florida Democratic Chairwoman Allison Tant: "I want to congratulate Mayor-elect Rick Kriseman on his victory. I know that Rick will be the hands-on leader that St. Pete needs in tough economic times. Tonight, voters have again rejected the candidate backed by Rick Scott and the Florida Republican establishment. The voters of St. Petersburg have shown Rick Scott and his Republican allies that they have no faith in the GOP’s ability to help middle class Floridians.”