Pinellas County Commission candidate Amy Kedron has lost a key endorsement from one of the few elected officials who publicly supported her campaign.
St. Petersburg City Council member Gina Driscoll said she pulled her endorsement after Kedron told the St. Petersburg police on Sept. 5 that a Tampa Bay Times reporter was stalking her at a fundraiser.
The reporter, who stood on a sidewalk at the Vinoy Marina, asked Kedron about $9,500 in campaign expenditures.
Driscoll said political candidates should answer campaign questions, not call the police to intercede. Driscoll wondered how Kedron would respond to taxpayers' questions if elected.
"It concerned me greatly," Driscoll said. "There's a lot to be said about how she responded. I am rescinding my support for her candidacy in light of recent events."
Kedron has not responded to multiple calls and emails from the Times in the past two weeks. She asked the Times to assign a new reporter to cover her District 6 election against Republican state Rep. Kathleen Peters.
Kedron, a former adjunct instructor at USF St. Petersburg and Ringling College of Art and Design, is currently unemployed. She told the Times in July that she was taking out emergency loans to pay living expenses.
Through August, Kedron had spent $20,323 on campaign expenses. Of that, she paid $9,505 to deputy treasurer William Pena Wells for "consulting fees." She made an $8,000 payment on Aug. 13, records show. Wells does not have a history of working as a political consultant in Pinellas County.
On Sept. 5, the Times asked Kedron if Wells returned any money to her so she could pay living expenses. Seconds later, Kedron walked to her car and called the police.
The public, Driscoll said, has a right to know how Kedron spent the money.
"A lot of people want to know the answers now, including me," Driscoll said.
Meanwhile, Kedron will not answer questions about her consulting firm — Mighty Oak Collaborative.
The company's website says she led "a $6 million enterprise that oversaw housing, entertainment, legal, media, and medical divisions."
It also says the firm has been "serving the community since 2013" and "has been leveraging the assets of national consulting partners" for economic development, social enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The 2013 founding date conflicts with state records.
According to the Florida Division of Corporations, Kedron incorporated the firm on April 13, 2018. She registered the domain names for the company and campaign on March 13, according to GoDaddy.com records.
"For someone who wants to be on the County Commission, that's a problem," Democratic commissioner Pat Gerard said about the conflicting dates.
Democrats currently hold four of the seven commission seats. Gerard is the only one who has donated to Kedron's campaign, giving $250 in May.
"I'm not actively supporting her," said Gerard, who did not draw an opponent this year. "I have some concerns."
Kedron, a Buffalo native, earned law and doctoral degrees at the University of Buffalo but has never taken a bar exam in Florida to work as an attorney. She says she spent years working on social, economic, and environmental issues around the Buffalo business community.
In August, the Times reported that Kedron faced accusations of physical abuse and stalking from her former fiance, who twice sought court-ordered protection from her. Kedron denied the claims, which came after she filed to run for office in May.
Despite the controversy, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has twice told the Times that Kedron is the best commission candidate who would further strengthen the relationship between the city and county.
He attended her first campaign event in June and the event on Sept. 5.
On Thursday, Kriseman, through a spokesman, said he would not discuss his support for Kedron, saying he is not focused on her candidacy.