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Political rookie becomes 11th member of mayoral race

ST. PETERSBURG — Political novice Richard Eldridge became the 11th candidate this week in the race for mayor.

Eldridge, 47, a former marine, said he will bring the military's disciplined work ethic to City Hall. He pledges to reduce crime, keep taxes "reasonable" and promote education.

He has a daughter and a son, but not much more is known about Eldridge, a self-proclaimed "strong leader" who is making his first bid for public office. Asked about his candidacy, he referred a reporter to his Web site, www.eldridge2009.com .

The site includes a page where he accuses other candidates of making irrelevant comments. He also compares his positions to theirs.

For example, he cites rival Kathleen Ford's pledge to insist on prompt police responses.

"You can insist all you want. How will you get the job done?" he wrote. "Giving the order without understanding the underlying cause of why a response might not be prompt will not get the job done... ."

However, Eldridge does not explain whether he believes police response times are adequate or how he might improve them as mayor.

Eldridge filed to run for office Wednesday.

Fast facts

About the race

Eleven candidates have filed paperwork to run for St. Petersburg mayor. They are Jamie Bennett, Paul Congemi, Richard Eldridge, Kathleen Ford, Bill Foster, Deveron Gibbons, Alex Haak, Ed Helm, Sharon Russ, Scott Wagman and Larry Williams.

Key dates: The primary is Sept. 1. The general election is Nov. 3.

Political rookie becomes 11th member of mayoral race 06/05/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 5:13pm]
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