Thursday, January 18, 2018
Politics

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 StPetePolls.org, 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."

StPetePolls.org, 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 SaintPetersBlog.com 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 [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

Comments

Q&A: Government shutdown looms. Here’s what you need to know

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown.Here’s what that means. Why would the government shut down?Every year, Congress has to approve laws, known as appropriations, that provide money for federal agen...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

Redington Shores mayor, commission positions filled with no opponents

REDINGTON SHORES — There will be no election this year, but the changeout of commission members that began last year will continue. When the new commission is sworn in this March, four of five members, including the mayor, will have changed within th...
Published: 01/18/18
Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

Rick Baker leaving Edwards Group, promoting new book

ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Baker is opening a new chapter in his life. So far, the future remains an open book.The former two-term mayor announced Sunday that he’s resigning his position as president of the Edwards Group effective Jan. 31.Baker has worked...
Published: 01/18/18
Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

Madeira Beach voters have clear choices as battle lines form over growth

By Sheila Mullane EstradaTimes CorrespondentMADEIRA BEACH — Voters here can either end or continue the city’s divisive politics on March 13. They will also decide how the city grows.The two commission seats that now represent pro-growth and pro-devel...
Published: 01/18/18
Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

Christie leaves as unpopular N.J. governor, but with no broken legs

TRENTON, N.J. — Republican Chris Christie left the New Jersey governor’s office with his popularity in tatters, but at least he didn’t break a leg. Christie is the first elected New Jersey governor in more than two decades not to suffer a broken leg ...
Published: 01/17/18
Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Ernest Hooper: Restoring rights after prison is about redemption, not politics

Desmond Meade says everywhere he goes in Florida, he hears the stories.From whites and blacks, conservatives and liberals, blue collar laborers and white collar wage earners. People from all walks have walked up to him with a common request.They’re c...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Published: 01/16/18
Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

Trump administration to take DACA repeal directly to the Supreme Court

SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on Tuesday appealed a judge’s ruling temporarily blocking its decision to end protections for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and announced plans to seek a U.S. Supreme Court review even before an ap...
Published: 01/16/18
North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea calls Trump a ‘lunatic’ and a ‘loser’ in response to nuclear button tweet

North Korea’s official news agency responded Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s controversial "nuclear button tweet," describing it as the "the spasm of a lunatic," according to AP."The spasm of Trump in the new year reflects the desperate mental st...
Published: 01/16/18
‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

‘What do we want? Apology!’ Hundreds of Haiti supporters protest near Mar-a-Lago

Sun Sentinel (TNS)PALM BEACH — About 500 Haitian-Americans and their supporters used the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday to protest derogatory comments President Donald Trump reportedly made about immigrants from majority-black countries."What do we w...
Published: 01/15/18