ST. PETERSBURG — Ten candidates running for mayor. Some whose names you might recognize. Others you might not.
In such a crowded election lacking a clear frontrunner, something as simple as an endorsement list could swing hundreds of votes — and potentially the primary election.
Absentee ballots will be mailed out starting July 13. Primary election day is Sept. 1.
Prominent elected Democrats state Rep. Bill Heller and state Sen. Charlie Justice are supporting Scott Wagman.
Former state House speaker Peter Rudy Wallace is behind Kathleen Ford.
Former Mayor Randy Wedding is with Larry Williams and another former mayor, Bill Ulrich, is backing Bill Foster.
The city's best known boxer, Ronald "Winky" Wright, has lined up with Deveron Gibbons.
Who else is supporting whom? And who's on the fence?
>> list of prominent endorsements, Page 8
Who's backing whom in St. Petersburg mayor race
These lists are just a sampling of a candidate's support. Contenders new to the race, like Ed Helm and Richard Eldridge, aren't listed because they have not released endorsements. Candidates Alex Haak and Paul Congemi have no significant endorsements. For more on the mayor's race, visit www.tampabay.com/mayor.
Bennett has lured three Pinellas County mayors to his team and some of the leading activists for Albert Whitted Airport.
Bob Devin Jones, [email protected]
Pat Gerard, mayor of Largo
Mike Finnerty, mayor of St. Pete Beach
Mike Yates, mayor of Gulfport
Judy Ellis, president of the Lakewood Estates Civic Association
Ruth Varn, Albert Whitted Airport activist
Will Michaels, president, St. Petersburg Preservation
George Rahdert, St. Petersburg land owner and attorney
The longtime City Council member's list of endorsements includes former City Council members, neighborhood leaders, and a former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher.
Suncoast Police Benevolent Association
Earnest Williams, former City Council member
Bea Griswold, former City Council member
Virginia Littrell, former City Council member
Connie Kone, former City Council member
Bob Kersteen, former City Council member
Frank Farkas, former state representative
Bill Klein, retired U.S. Army general and former mayoral candidate
David and Theresa McEachern, Midtown neighborhood leaders
Doug Waechter, former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher
An attorney herself, Ford has the backing of two former Florida Bar presidents and a former chairman of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
Peter Rudy Wallace, attorney and former Florida House speaker
Pete and Shawn Veytia, owners of Red Mesa
Richard Sanchez, CEO, Advantica Eyecare
William G. Tapp, accountant and former chairman of the board of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce
Greg Bryant, president, Bay Cities Bank
William Blews, former St. Petersburg and Florida Bar president
Jake Smith, former Florida Bar president
Leroy Lewis, community leader in Lake Maggiore Shores
Gibbons has built the biggest bench of big name elected officials and 41 area black ministers. He also has the backing of money men like Pridgen and Desai.
Brent Sembler, vice chairman, Sembler Co.
Darryl Rouson, state representative
Gus Bilirakis, U.S. representative
Everett Rice, former Pinellas sheriff
Watson Haynes, minister and local community leader
Rev. Dr. Manuel Sykes, Bethel Community Baptist Church
Mike Atwater, owner, Atwater's Cafeteria
Grady Pridgen, developer
Dr. A.K. Desai, Republican fundraiser
Ronald "Winky" Wright, boxer
Dennis Jones, state senator
Calvin Harris, Pinellas County commissioner
Wagman has tied up two of the area's best known elected Democrats, Justice and Heller, and also has a helpful connection to the Sembler Co. and the money that might bring.
Charlie Justice, state senator
Bill Heller, state representative
Craig Sher, executive chairman, Sembler Co.
Darryl LeClair, CEO, Echelon Development Corp.
Dave Feaster, CEO, Cornerstone Bank
Arnett Smith, member of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority
Rev. Charles McKenzie, former state House candidate
Tracey Locke, co-founder, Fans for Waterfront Stadium
Williams has some veteran hands in local politics among his supporters, including two former St. Petersburg mayors and a current member of the Pinellas County Commission.
Randy Wedding, former St. Petersburg mayor
Susan Latvala, Pinellas County commissioner
W. Fred Petty, former Pinellas County tax collector
Charles "Chuck" Rainey, former Pinellas County commissioner
David Meehan, president, Bankers Insurance Group
Reggie Ligon, former president, Suncoasters
Don Jones, former St. Petersburg mayor