The ostensibly non-partisan mayor’s election in St. Petersburg is taking on an increasingly partisan tone.
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is scheduled to endorse Rick Kriseman, a Democrat, at a press conference Monday morning in Midtown.
Kriseman's 10 a.m. press conference takes place at precisely the same that Mayor Bill Foster is scheduled to cut the ribbon at a Walmart hiring center in Midtown, where the retail chain plans to open a store.
Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined Foster in St. Petersburg for a CareFest volunteer event, where he told reporters — upon questioning — that he supported Foster's re-election.
Foster also received organizing assistance from the state Republican Party’s field director. But he has criticized Kriseman's backing from the state Democratic Party.
The party gave Kriseman — a former Democratic legislator — $30,000 during the primary race, which has paid his campaign manager’s salary. He also received an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
A Tampa Bay Times poll last month showed Foster and Kriseman about one point apart in the mayor’s race.
More this morning:
Immigration reform: Florida clergy and immigration activists will embark on a 150-mile walk this week from Winter Garden to Tampa and Clearwater.
The week-long march, which starts today, is to press for immigration reform that allows illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship, according to supporters. A bill in Congress, which has stalled in the House, sets up a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants already in the U.S.
Eleven walkers, some of them from Tampa and Clearwater, will visit about 20 churches in several cities, including Kissimmee, Haines City, Brandon, and Dover.
On Oct. 14, they will attend a candlelight vigil at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tampa with a prayer service delivered by Bishop Robert N. Lynch. They will be joined by other area activists, as they march to the federal courthouse in downtown Tampa.
Furlough’s over for some: Civilian workers at MacDill Air Force Base will be back on the job today.
About 1,500 civilians were required to go on unpaid leave when the federal government shut down Oct. 1. The 1,500 employees were deemed to be in non-essential jobs.
But on Sunday, civilians working for the 6th Air Mobility Wing, U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command were told to return to work.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced this past weekend that most of the Pentagon’s furloughed civilian workers are being ordered back on the job to ensure the readiness of the nation’s military.