ST. PETERSBURG — Restaurateur and owner of The Galley Pete Boland filed to run for mayor this week.
Boland, 37, is running on a “St. Pete First” agenda, he wrote in a news release. Among his top priorities are “lower taxes, increased government accountability, building more houses, modernizing the police, improving public schools, and serving as a champion of small business and the local hospitality industry,” he wrote.
He said “partisan politics has damaged the City’s progress” and he “wants to bring innovative, common sense solutions” to city government.
A registered Republican who calls himself a moderate, Boland went up against Mayor Rick Kriseman’s administration last year over the city’s mask mandate, arguing it was burdensome for business owners whose margins had already disappeared as a result of the pandemic. His restaurants, The Galley and Mary Margaret’s Olde Irish Tavern, both received citations from the city for staff not wearing masks.
Last year, Boland temporarily shuttered The Galley after COVID-19 spread among his staff, and he subsequently installed air purification systems in his restaurants.
Boland joins a crowded mayoral field, which includes Council members Darden Rice and Robert Blackmon, former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch, and former Council member and state Rep. Wengay Newton. Other candidates are Vincent Nowicki, Michael Levinson, Michael Ingram and Marcile Powers.