Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg poll shows tight race for mayor

ST. PETERSBURG — With the Aug. 27 primary still six months away, a new poll shows that Mayor Bill Foster has a narrow edge over challenger Rick Kriseman.

Foster leads Kriseman 38 percent to 34 percent, with 28 percent of voters undecided.

The automated telephone poll of 690 registered St. Petersburg voters was done Monday by, commissioned by political blogger Peter Schorsch. It has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

Even with close numbers, Foster and Kriseman supporters shouldn't get excited.

Mayoral races in the Sunshine City typically field many candidates. Ten hopefuls battled in the 2009 primary.

Kriseman, 50, a former City Council member and state legislator, said he isn't focused on the numbers. Instead, he said he prefers to communicate his message to voters about economic development, public safety, quality neighborhoods and open government.

"People want an alternative to Bill Foster, but you don't need a poll to know that," said Kriseman, who entered the race last week.

Foster, 49, said it's too early to look at polls: "It doesn't dictate campaigns, strategies or governance.", a division of Fextel Inc., is operated by Matt Florell, a local resident and frequent red light camera critic. Fextel, founded by Florell in 2008, specializes in telephone solutions for businesses.

Schorsch, who runs and often works as a political consultant, said he has not worked for Kriseman or Foster in any prior campaigns. He said he commissioned the poll because "previous polling didn't reflect the real-time status of the race."

Foster should be worried with the tight numbers, Schorsch said, adding: "The public is very tuned in to city affairs."

Schorsch said he wanted to quiz voters other potential candidates as well since Foster and Kriseman aren't his top choice for the job.

Voters were asked if they wanted former Mayor Rick Baker to seek a third term. Forty-four percent said yes; 42 percent disagreed; and 14 percent were unsure.

If Baker entered the race, 40 percent of respondents said they would vote for him. Another 37 percent favored "someone else." Only 23 percent picked Foster.

Although Kathleen Ford hasn't declared her candidacy, the poll asked about the former council member and frequent candidate: 33 percent want her to run; 39 percent don't; and 28 were unsure.

The poll didn't ask about candidate Paul Congemi, who drew 0.3 percent of votes in 2009, and also is running again this year.

Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at

. Fast Facts

St. Petersburg's 2013 city election

Qualifying period for candidates: June 11-24

Last day to register as candidate: 5 p.m. June 24

Voter registration deadline for Aug. 27 primary: July 29

Voter registration deadline for Nov. 5 general election: Oct. 7

St. Petersburg poll shows tight race for mayor 02/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Live from St. Pete: Kriseman, Baker square off in TV debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — The mayoral race goes into the home stretch starting Tuesday.

  2. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey


    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.
  3. SOCom moves to bring growing Warrior Games for injured troops to Tampa


    TAMPA — The military established special games for ill and injured troops and veterans in 2010, and the annual event drew crowds of up to 5,000 to the bases that hosted them — until this summer.

    Medically retired Marine Corps Sgt. Mike Nicholson of Tampa participates in the 2017 Warrior Games in Chicago on July 2.
  4. The Daystarter: Tampa courts Warrior Games; McCain returns for health care vote; Kriseman, Baker debate tonight; Jones on McCoy's puzzling pattern of tantrums


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    President Donald Trump on Monday urged senators to vote in favor of an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. [ Washington Post]
  5. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]