Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Politics

St. Petersburg mayoral hopeful Rick Kriseman wins support of Leslie Curran

ST. PETERSBURG — While endorsements from voters matter most, Mayor Bill Foster isn't getting a vote of confidence from the City Council.

Four of the eight members are backing Rick Kriseman or Kathleen Ford in the Aug. 27 primary election. Three others aren't endorsing a candidate.

"I have served with the incumbent, Mayor Foster, over the last four years, and I have seen the total lack of leadership," council member Leslie Curran said before a mayoral forum Wednesday at the Childs Park Recreation Center. "It is a time for some real leadership in this city."

Curran lambasted Foster for the way he has handled negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays over a new stadium and for Sweetbay Supermarket closing its store in Midtown's Tangerine Plaza.

Curran said she met with Ford to hear her visions, but endorsed Kriseman, saying he showed the most forward-thinking ideas for the city.

Council Chairman Karl Nurse and two of Foster's biggest council allies are remaining silent.

"I do not endorse anyone," said Bill Dudley.

Jim Kennedy concurred: "I always want to be able to work with whoever is elected. I want to avoid partisan politics getting involved in our city's nonpartisan election."

With Charlie Gerdes, Steve Kornell and Curran in his corner, Kriseman has the most public support on the council. Wengay Newton is one of Ford's biggest backers. He urges his Facebook followers daily to vote for her.

Jeff Danner did not return calls for comment.

As the campaign wraps up, Ford, Foster and Kriseman fielded questions from about 25 residents at the last debate before Tuesday's election.

Talks centered on Midtown redevelopment, crime and police department policies, like in the 11 earlier forums. Kriseman, Foster and Ford didn't deviate from their talking points or stump speeches.

Residents waited along a concrete wall before quizzing candidates in the 90-minute forum.

Many directed questions at only Foster and Kriseman. Ford and two fringe candidates, Anthony Cates and Paul Congemi, sat silent.

Contact Mark Puente at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow on Twitter @ markpuente.

Comments
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Updated: 11 hours ago
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.It’s also...
Published: 06/17/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Perenich to ‘Walk the District’Stephen Perenich, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Florida District 12, will be "Walking the District" June 25-29. Perenich will be walking 55 miles in five days, starting in Dade City and heading...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administration’s aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18