Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former St. Petersburg City Council member Bill Foster joins race for mayor

ST. PETERSBURG — Former City Council member Bill Foster wants to become Mayor Bill Foster. Foster filed to run Monday, joining a growing list of mayoral candidates from the city's private and public sectors.

"Now is not the time for on-the-job training," he said. "Unlike other campaigns, I don't have to cram for the final. From day one, I can take off running."

For months, Foster, a lawyer, had said he planned to enter the race, but he couldn't raise or spend money until he filed.

He wants to make the city safer and tackle the pending economic hurdles St. Petersburg's next administration likely will face.

"The city government impacts its citizens on a daily basis," he said. "Whether its public safety, that clean glass of water, the flushing of the toilet … these are services that people depend on, and the greatest impact comes from the top down."

Foster said he will hold a public event March 2 to unveil his campaign slogan, Web site and platform, which he is calling the Foster Formula. The formula, he said, touches on improved customer service at City Hall, transparent government and public safety. Foster said he also would improve communication between the city's administrative and legislative branches.

Foster served District 3, which includes Snell Isle, for about a decade. He was a controversial figure on the City Council who didn't always go along with Mayor Rick Baker and often voted on the side of his conservative Christian beliefs.

He advocated against overdevelopment of downtown and opposed an ordinance that prohibited sexual orientation discrimination in employment and housing. After he was term-limited in 2008, he continued to take a stand on lightning-rod issues. He voiced concerns that the Tampa Bay Rays' new stadium plan was too rushed when other elected officials declined to comment on it.

He also started a media frenzy about a year ago when the St. Petersburg Times published a letter he wrote to the Pinellas County School Board in favor of exposing students to creationism. The letter linked Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to Adolf Hitler.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

>>Fast facts

Election details

St. Petersburg will hold

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

Mayoral candidates to date: Jamie Bennett, 56, a council member; Paul Congemi, 52, a former builder; Scott Wagman, 55, a real estate broker; Bill Foster, 45, a lawyer; Deveron Gibbons, 36, a business executive; Sharon Russ, 48, a minister; Kathleen Ford, 51, a lawyer.

Former St. Petersburg City Council member Bill Foster joins race for mayor 02/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 9:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  2. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.