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Rick Kriseman says he’s neutral — for now — in St. Pete mayor’s race

Kriseman’s wife, Kerry, signed in for Ken Welch’s Jan. 28 online campaign kickoff, but only because she’s investigating the stands of the two Welch and Darden Rice, Mayor Kriseman said.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. [ Screenshot ]
Published Feb. 18

Reacting to news reports about his wife Kerry attending Ken Welch’s mayoral campaign kickoff, Mayor Rick Kriseman said this week he’s neutral for now in the race to be his successor, and so is she.

Kerry Kriseman signed in for Ken Welch’s Jan. 28 online campaign kickoff, but only because she’s investigating the stands of the two leading candidates, Welch and Darden Rice, Mayor Kriseman said.

“My wife is her own person and votes for whoever she wants to vote for,” Kriseman said in an interview this week. “She hasn’t decided who she’s going to vote for. She knows both the leading candidates,” meaning Welch and Rice, “and wants to hear what they have to say.”

Kriseman said he’s “kind of doing the same thing,” and may not endorse any candidate publicly.

“If I do endorse anyone it would be based on my feeling that that person would build on what I’ve tried to do,” he said.

Some insiders expect Kriseman to back Welch because of some past conflicts with Rice — he criticized her for starting a political committee to boost her campaign early in his second term.

Kriseman said there’s no significance to that — “Regardless of the candidate, there are going to be times I’m not going to agree with them.”