Thursday, December 14, 2017
Politics

The Buzz: In mayoral race, a hasty exit and a crunching of the numbers

Foster calls out supporter

Community activist Theresa "Momma Tee" Lassiter stormed out of St. Petersburg's first mayoral debate Thursday night like a pouting child ordered to the corner for bad behavior.

Minutes later, Mayor Bill Foster said this about one of his biggest supporters: "I apologize for that outburst ... that was wrong."

From wealthy to broke

In the net worth race, Kathleen Ford wins.

Here is a breakdown of liabilities and assets for five candidates in the race for mayor:

• Kathleen Ford, 55, has a net worth of nearly $1.1 million, with the bulk of that tied to her $800,000 home on 18th Street NE, according to state financial disclosure forms. Her other noteworthy assets are a collection of stocks, retirement and money-market accounts worth $276,291.

She owes $684,000 on a mortgage and other loans. Her $17,152 annual income is from her family law firm, Ford & Ford.

• Bill Foster, 50, listed a net worth of $490,000, records show. His biggest asset is his $550,000 home on Dover Street, which is mortgaged for $152,000. He owes $38,000 on two other loans. He earned $155,723 from his job as mayor.

• Rick Kriseman, 50, listed a net worth of $279,751, records show. His biggest asset is his $550,000 home on Third Avenue N, which is mortgaged for $323,422. He earned $112,902 from his law practice and the Florida House.

• Paul Congemi, 56, listed his net worth at $6,000. He earns $8,869 annually from Social Security.

• Anthony Cates, 23, is in the red by $19,000. He earned $18,314 last year working for Mortgage Investors.

No Ford at Tiger Bay debate

When members of the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club gather July 10 to quiz St. Petersburg mayoral candidates, one major challenger will not be there.

Kathleen Ford will not participate. Mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman are in.

"I have a conflict, so I will not be attending," Ford said.

She attended the forums during her 2001 and 2009 mayoral campaigns. Local blogger Peter Schorsch, a Tiger Bay board member, said the club provided three alternate dates, but Ford stopped returning calls.

When asked about the other dates, Ford replied: "Trial calendar for two weeks."

Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

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