Unlike the Tampa mayoral primary some two and a half years ago, there is little drama going into tonight's St. Petersburg primary election. Both Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman are predicted to move into the general primary, with the only possible surprise occurring if Kriseman were to have the most overall votes in the five-person contest (Kathleen Ford, Paul Congemi and Anthony Cates round out the field). The latest polls show Foster up by two points over Kriseman, but the momentum seems to be on Kriseman's side. But you only have to look at what happened in Tampa two years ago to realize the candidate who wins the primary doesn't mean anything, per se.
On March 1, 2011, Bob Buckhorn barely made the run-off, finishing only 384 votes ahead of Dick Greco. The top finisher that night? Rose Ferlita, who ended up getting only 38 percent of the vote in the general election.
Regarding the other major issue on the ballot, the expectations are that the voters will kill the contract the city has with architect Michael Maltzan and his Lens design for the St. Pete Pier. Expect Bill Foster to announce on Wednesday what happens next.
And unlike Tampa's municipal elections, there will be run-offs in every city council race, despite the fact that Karl Nurse could possibly get more than 50 percent of the vote tonight in his District 6 race against Trevor Mallory and Sharon Russ. Amy Foster and Darden Rice are expected to get the most votes in their races in District 8 and District 4, respectively, and then go back and campaign against just one other candidate, instead of three, for the next two months.
In other news — It was another bad day at the office for Cesar Padilla, Hillsborough County's embattled Public Transportation Commission executive director.
Most Americans may not be feeling the hurt that sequestration is putting on the country, but just hear from some of the researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center about how cuts to the National Institute of Health are affecting the grants that they need to do their ground breaking research, and you might care a little more.
And I hung out with Polk County based Republican Congressman Dennis Ross at Moffitt yesterday (his recently configured district now encompasses the USF campus area), where he blasted the Obama administration for its inaction with Syria.