The value of grassroots mobilizing to put Charlie Crist back in the governor’s office: Priceless.
That is how Democratic organizers see Crist's challenge in trying to take back the governor's office in Florida. Whether big organizing can trump big money remains to be seen.
One thing is certain, Rick Kriseman will need the support of the city’s African-Americans to lead Florida’s fourth-largest city.
Cesar Fernandez’s bragging on social media made that job harder this week for the mayor-elect.
Monday, Kriseman worked to distance himself from Fernandez’s statement, which was a tweeted analysis of the election results.
Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times that the statement was insensitive and certainly does not reflect his views.
“I was honored to have it,” Kriseman said of the support he received from African-American voters. The city's black communities were considered a swing vote in the final days of the hard-fought race.
Rick Kriseman will not be sworn in as St. Petersburg mayor until January, but he already faces some immediate decisions — hiring a new police chief and dealing with the shuttered city Pier.
The morning after Kriseman decisively beat incumbent Bill Foster, the mayor-elect got down to business, organizing a City Hall press conference to talk about the pressing issues of the new administration.
Topping the list is hiring a new police chief to replace retiring Chief Chuck Harmon, who leaves on Jan. 6. Kriseman campaigned that he will hire a national consultant to lead the search.
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on newly elected City Councilmember Darden Rice:
“She understands the challenges in St. Pete economically, but also sees the potential. We’ve worked together on environmental restoration. She’s been a leader on transit. St. Pete has grown by leaps and bounds tonight. This is the place to be because of all the young energy Darden brings. St. Pete is on the move. The challenges are taking that economic growth beyond downtown, south into Midtown and northern St. Petersburg as well. This isn’t just one neighborhood. This is a great place for new businesses.”
Challenger Rick Kriseman easily won the mayor's race Tuesday, leading a progressive slate of City Council candidates to a decisive victory in St. Petersburg elections.
Kriseman, a former Democratic state lawmaker, beat incumbent Mayor Bill Foster by 12 points, though polls had predicted a tight race.
“I’m surprised by the margin,” said Kriseman, who was swarmed by supporters at NOVA 535, where the returns were tracked on a large screen behind the bar. “This just shows how much the community is asking for change.”
Kriseman took 56 percent of the vote to Foster’s 44 percent, according to unofficial results by the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections.
Incumbents Karl Nurse and Jim Kennedy easily held on to their seats, while newcomers Darden Rice and Amy Foster won their races.
[Editor's Note: Linda Hersey was busy covering Election Day festivities in St. Pete this morning, so her Morning Report is a little bit belated today.]
Is anyone ever really shocked when the electric bill goes up?
But a monthly increase of $9 from Duke Energy does seem high. That is the average hike that customers in the Tampa Bay area are likely to see starting Jan. 1.
The reason? Two nuclear plant debacles — the seriously flawed Crystal River Plant and the Levy County project, which failed to move forward. Most of the $5 billion cost is being passed on to consumers, under a plan approved by state regulators.
Charlie Crist, who formally announced his bid for governor today, may be the nation’s first hybrid candidate.
The former GOP governor is making a second run for office, but this time as a Democrat.
Sounding Republican themes, Crist pledged to cut taxes and focus on the economy. But he echoed Democratic platforms when he emphasized the need for fuel efficiency and renewable energy.
Speaking at Albert Whitted Park on St. Petersburg’s waterfront, Crist also seemed to be defining himself as a moderate, as he lashed out at Republican Gov. Rick Scott for leading "from the fringes" and bullying those who disagree with him.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist will make his political intentions formally known today to Florida voters.
He is expected to his announce that he will run for governor again — this time as a Democrat.
Crist was scheduled to hold a press conference at 10 this morning at Albert Whitted Airport Park. 480 Bayshore Dr., in St. Petersburg.
In April of 2007, Creative Loafing published the first "Poet's Notebook" by Peter Meinke, Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg. Since then, we've run more than 150 of Peter's columns. His lucid, humane perspective on the world, and the accompanying line drawings by his wife, Jeanne, have won him devoted fans and multiple awards.
Now, thanks to the University of Tampa Press, those fans (Meinkettes? Meinkenians?) can find all their favorite columns in one handy volume: Truth and Affection: The "Poet's Notebook" Columns from Creative Loafing.
Gov. Rick Scott plans to buck a national trend to downsize prisons and spend up to $124 million to expand and upgrade corrections facilities across the Sunshine State, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Under Scott’s plan, Florida’s corrections system — which locks up more people than most any other state — would re-open nine work camps that had closed last year. The cost would be $59 million.
In addition, the corrections system is seeking more money for officers, new transport vehicles, food service and an improved electronic timekeeping system.
The request comes as the governor asks state agencies to make a total of $100 million in spending cuts for next fiscal year.