Larry Williams enters St. Petersburg mayor's race

ST. PETERSBURG — Larry Williams is making another bid for mayor.

The former City Council member made it official Tuesday when he filed his paperwork at City Hall.

"I think I could help," said Williams, 64, who last served on the City Council in 2001 and represented the southernmost part of the city. "With my years on council, and what I've done in the community, I have the ability to bring people together and get things done."

Williams ran for mayor in 2001, finishing third behind Rick Baker and Kathleen Ford. Baker went on to win the election and serve two terms. Term limits prevent him from seeking a third.

Now both Ford, who announced her candidacy last month, and Williams are running again. Williams said he would strive to be a consensus builder, offering perhaps a more gentle hand in City Hall.

He said he wants to continue the city's relationship with local schools, trim the budget in a way that doesn't affect critical services such as police and fire, and take a more hands-on approach to restoring BayWalk than the Baker administration.

"I don't need on-the-job training," Williams said.

The president of Diagnostic Outpatient Centers, Williams has lived in St. Petersburg since 1964. He and his wife, Pam, have five children. They are expecting their sixth grandchild this week.

His entry in the race expands the field to nine.

Candidates must still qualify for the primary ballot, either by paying a $1,623 fee and collecting 1,000 petition signatures or paying fees totaling $1,873.

The qualifying period is June 16-June 29.

FAST FACTS

Election details

St. Petersburg holds a primary Sept. 1 where the mayor's chair and five council seats are up for grabs. The general election is Nov. 3.

Other mayoral candidates to date: Jamie Bennett, 56, a council member; Paul Congemi, 52, a former builder; Scott Wagman, 55, a business executive; Bill Foster, 45, a lawyer; Deveron Gibbons, 36, a business executive; Sharon Russ, 48, a minister; Kathleen Ford, 51, a lawyer; and Alex Haak, 77, a political activist.

Larry Williams enters St. Petersburg mayor's race 03/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:33pm]

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