St. Pete Mayors Race: Judgement Day
According to the final Tampa Bay Times poll taken yesterday Rick Kriseman leads Bill Foster, 48% to 45% with seven percent of likely voters still undecided.
Meanwhile both men kept up the campaigning on Monday.
In front of a large crowd at Albert Whitted Park everyone might have been there to see the launching of gubernatorial campaign of Charlie Crist, but taking center stage right along with him was Rick Kriseman.
“The next mayor of St. Pete,” Crist told the crowd while holding Kriseman’s hand high.
Even though the city race is officially non-partisan, Kriseman, a Democrat, has not shied away from his party’s support. And on Monday, if the notoriously casual Crist had been wearing a jacket, Kriseman followed him so closely into the crowd that he could have at least touched his coattails.
Kriseman makes no apologies about linking himself so closely to Crist, who is running for governor.
Meanwhile at the Bill Foster campaign headquarters, they were tending to the important task of making last minute phone calls and that included the Mayor himself making calls to undecided voters. For St. Petersburg’s incumbent Mayor the message short and to the point. ”Keep the city moving forward with him at the helm.”
With the vote going on as we speak there is a great deal riding in this race. At stake is the last major city along the Interstate 4 corridor that is controlled by a Republican. The corridor is seen as crucial to electoral success in Florida, and a Foster victory would give the GOP momentum going into a 2014 campaign season that includes a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young plus gubernatorial, state House and state Senate races.
But the Democrats want to oust Foster from his post and in the process take ownership of all the major mayors along the very important I – 4 corridor. This could be a very late night in this close race with so much at stake for both sides.