by Benjamin J. Kirby
I am incredibly excited about Rick Kriseman running for Mayor of St. Petersburg. Check out his announcement video:
This is fantastic news for the City of St. Petersburg. Yes, I'm a resident of Gulfport, but we're just blocks away from St. Pete, and we spend an awful lot of time there.
This is a political blog. Always has been, and though I find myself wanting to write more about my family and my children, it always will be a blog about local and national public affairs and politics.
This campaign is a rare -- and joyous -- instance of the personal intersecting with the political.
I like to think of Rick Kriseman, my former State Representative, as something of a friend, but he's a good enough politician that I bet a lot of people feel that way about him. With respect to my blogging efforts, he has been more than generous, granting me an exclusive two-part interview (part I here and part II here).
Look, sometimes politics is complicated.
Sometimes, it's pretty easy. St. Petersburg is at a special place in time. And the residents of the fourth largest city in Florida are not getting the leadership they deserve in Mayor Foster. From his failure on the Tampa Bay Rays and Tropicana Field, to his failure on the St. Petersburg Pier, to other failed issues that should be easy for a progressive city. The curbside recycling mess. Implementing red light cameras... then halting them. The police station debacle.
These things -- and more -- are the reasons Mayor Foster's popularity is tanking.
But this isn't about Bill Foster.
This is about a guy who will lead the City of St. Petersburg. This is about a guy who stood with Hands Across the Sand. This is about a guy who took on big business in the name of keeping the residents of his community safe and healthy. This is about a guy who was a leading voice on the St. Petersburg City Council. This is about a guy who was a leading -- and much needed -- voice trying to slow the freight train of conservative extremism in the Florida Legislature.
It's going to be a great campaign, and I'll try to keep you updated as best I can.
Let's go to work for Rick... and for St. Petersburg.