After an extremely close primary race on Aug. 27, incumbent mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman will face off again in the Nov. 5 general election. Foster garnered the lead by fewer than 1,000 votes, with 41 percent of votes compared to Kriseman's 39 percent. With only 19 percent of the votes, candidate Kathleen Ford lost her third bid for mayor.
Scroll down to see how Foster and Kriseman responded to our questions about their vision for the city and what they'd do if elected.
Family: Married, two children
Lived in city: Moved here at age 3
Education: Bachelor of science in broadcasting, University of Florida; juris doctorate, Stetson University College of Law
Campaign info: kriseman.com
I am running for mayor because the residents of St. Petersburg deserve a strong, decisive leader who can move us forward while looking out for the best interests of every neighborhood in our city. I will be that mayor.
Much has been said about the city needing a leader with vision. What’s your vision for the city? Be as specific as possible.
I love our city, but I love the potential we have even more. My vision is for St. Petersburg to once again be known as a city made up of strong, vibrant neighborhoods, sound infrastructure, which includes an easily accessible public transportation system, and quality public schools. We will grow our economy and create more jobs in both the marine sciences industry and health care fields. In addition, while I intend on establishing better working relationships with Pinellas County and with those municipalities that abut our city, such as Gulfport and Tampa, I intend on taking those steps necessary to further cement St. Petersburg’s status as a cultural destination with world-class galleries and museums.
Without vision and forward-looking leadership, the positive changes which have occurred in the past will become a thing of the past.
Three things the city is doing right and I’d continue:
I will continue to ensure that we are a welcoming community that embraces and celebrates every individual regardless of race, class or sexual orientation. I will continue our efforts at being a city of the arts, and I will continue and build on the progress we’ve made in becoming a Green City. We’re doing a lot right, but there’s a lot we can be doing better.
Three things the city is doing wrong that I’d change:
Instead of waiting until their lease ends in 2027, I will engage the Tampa Bay Rays about the future of baseball in this city and region. I will change the Police Department’s chase policy and return us to the traditional community policing model. I will bring civility to City Hall.
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