Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Buzz: St. Pete mayor's race heats up

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who says the stadium is a crucial issue in the St. Petersburg mayor’s race, throws the first pitch at the Rays-Yankees game May 24.


Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who says the stadium is a crucial issue in the St. Petersburg mayor’s race, throws the first pitch at the Rays-Yankees game May 24.

Bob Buckhorn opines on mayor's race

The Tampa mayor refuses to intercede in the debate over a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, but Bob Buckhorn said the St. Petersburg primary election is crucial in the yearslong saga.

Buckhorn said residents will be "increasing pressure on all of the candidates to stake out a position" on two of the city's most controversial issues: the stadium and the future of the Lens, the Pier replacement.

"The status quo is not going to be an answer," Buckhorn told the Buzz a day after tossing the first pitch at Tropicana Field. He added: "Those are the two issues that will dominate and suck the air out of that campaign over there."

So far, the top candidates in the Aug. 27 primary are Mayor Bill Foster, former council member Kathleen Ford and former council member and state legislator Rick Kriseman.

War chests and jabs

Rick Kriseman collected more campaign cash in the first quarter, but the money wars are brewing. More than 150 people were seen coming and going from Bill Foster's fundraiser Thursday night at Ferg's Sports Bar and Grill.

Kathleen Ford will raise money at a "coffee to discuss the future of St. Petersburg" June 15 at the home of Ardith and Nancy Rutland. Kriseman will join Sarah Butz and Rich Feigel in their home for a meet and greet on Tuesday.

Kriseman threw a punch after Foster tweeted about swimming at Jennie Hall Pool over the Memorial Day weekend.

A news release said: "Foster once proposed closing Jennie Hall Pool as part of a plan to plug a $14 million deficit."

Kriseman's team called the pool event a campaign stunt. "The people of St. Petersburg can see right through this," said campaign manager Cesar Fernandez.

Ford didn't tweet about the event or issue a news release.

Newton wants to be heard

Thursday's agenda-review session took two hours — courtesy of St. Petersburg council member Wengay Newton. The meeting typically lasts less than an hour.

In recent months, Newton, who proclaims himself the voice of the people, has dominated every question-and-answer session with Foster and staffers. He often asks the same question multiple times without getting new responses.

It's common for council members to roll their eyes, shake their heads or talk to one another when Newton speaks. He even carried on Thursday and demanded that City Attorney John Wolfe define "open forum."

Council chairman Karl Nurse must have forgotten the pledge he made in January after taking the position: He vowed to end lengthy debates by enforcing members' speaking time limits.

Schorsch's new gig?

Peter Schorsch is mostly known as a local blogger and political consultant, but now he wants to be a thing of beauty.

Foster wants the City Council to appoint Schorsch to the City Beautiful Commission, which promotes the beautification of the Sunshine City and maintains the Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum.

Nurse nominated Schorsch, president of the Crescent Lake Neighborhood Association, to fill the remainder of a three-year term expiring at the end of the year.

During agenda review, council member Bill Dudley questioned the choice since three residents of District 4 serve on the board. The full council will vote Thursday.

Times staff writer Richard Danielson contributed to this report. Mark Puente can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8459. Follow @markpuente on Twitter. Anna M. Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779. Follow @annamphillips on Twitter.

The Buzz: St. Pete mayor's race heats up 05/31/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 31, 2013 8:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Drug czar nominee Marino withdraws name amid report he weakened DEA


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the Pennsylvania congressman he chose to be the nation's drug czar is withdrawing from consideration for the job.

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., left, sponsored the law that weakened the DEA's enforcement abilities. Seen with Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., in 2015, Marino is nominated to be the nation's drug czar. [Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg]
  2. Photo of the Day for October 17, 2017 - Urban possums

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Roger Kimble of Tampa, FL.

  3. Exposé 'Champions Way' uses FSU to illustrate bad behavior in college programs


    While the entire college football universe was focused on a sexual assault allegation against quarterback Jameis Winston during Florida State's 2013 national title run, another off-field scandal was playing out quietly.

     Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the game between Florida State Seminoles and the University of Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
  4. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA


    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]
  5. Pinellas deputies go door-to-door at dawn to arrest unlicensed contractors


    Pinellas deputies began pounding on doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday, part of a widespread roundup of contractors accused of working without licences and workers compensation.

    Pinellas Sheriff deputies J. Short, left, and T. Festa, right, arrest suspect Randy Ronchi, center, in Largo early Tuesday, as part of a joint roundup of unlicensed contractors. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]