by Benjamin J. Kirby
The trend continues today, I'm afraid: State Representative Rick Kriseman (D-53), a favorite of this blog as well as my own Representative, has announced he is not seeking re-election:
While I am pleased by our occasional victories, and hold out hope that the political climate and dysfunction in Tallahassee will eventually improve, neither provides me with a good enough reason to return for two more years.
Therefore, in November, a dozen years after entering public service, I will leave the Florida House and my legislative family to spend a little more time in my house with my family. My wife, kids, and our Labrador retrievers are looking forward to it.
Being at home will also allow me to focus on my law practice, and to give extra attention to some of the fun things in my life, like my Karate and guitar lessons.
But know this, until November, I intend to work hard to re-elect our president, and to be helpful to other great candidates who are running for local, state, or federal offices. I’ll also be using the downtime to think about my own future, and how I can best serve our community.
As you probably remember, Duncan worked for Keith Fitzgerald for his two terms at a State Representative in District 69, and I think both Duncan and Keith might express a similar sentiment about working in an overwhelmingly Republican legislature with a far-right-wing Governor.
I was lucky enough to be granted an interview with Representative Kriseman (part I here, and part II here). If there are any take-aways from that interview, it's that Kriseman loves his hometown of St. Petersburg, and that he believes very deeply in public service.
I don't know what that means for Kriseman's future -- I take him at his word that he's going to focus on his law practice and his fantastic family. But I think it's a safe bet to say we haven't heard the last of Rick Kriseman in public life.
Maybe because I was married to a political staffer, but too often these events go without passing along the recognition and acknowledgement due the advisers and aides of these politicians we admire. Duncan and I consider Kevin King and David Flintom friends, but beyond their friendship, they have served their boss, and more important, the people of this district well. I don't know where they'll land or what they'll be doing, but with talent like that, I bet it'll be something really great.
Good luck, Representative Kriseman. And thank you for your service.