The City of St. Petersburg has a new mayor today as challenger Rick Kriseman won the election against incumbent Mayor Bill Foster. Kriseman, a former Democratic state lawmaker, beat incumbent Mayor Bill Foster by 12 points, though polls had predicted a tight race.
Mayor Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman both voted with their wives on election morning in St. Pete.
The two have been in a head to head battle for months.
They’ve debated issues such as public safety, the future of the Tampa Bay Rays in the city, as well as what’s next for the Pier.
While they may differ on many issues, the future of the pier has been resounding with the public.
Both have agreed voters made it clear they were looking for functionality first, form second. Something “The Lens” design, devised under Mayor Foster’s watch, admittedly didn’t have.
Kriseman, the Mayor-Elect, is expected to announce his transition plans Wednesday morning at St. Petersburg City Hall.
Foster says he will meet with Kriseman later this week to begin the transition project, which includes filling him in on some of the inside baseball information on dealing with the Rays.
Although the race was supposed to be nonpartisan, Democrats clearly were claiming victory Tuesday night, too, with a Who’s Who list of party leaders at Kriseman’s watch party.
NOVA 535 was packed with politicos and partygoers who were decidedly upbeat before the polls closed at 7 p.m. The Bay Kings Band was offering a fine and appropriate rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and other soulful tunes in the open-air patio
In city council races in St. Petersburg: Incumbents Karl Nurse and Jim Kennedy easily held on to their seats, while newcomers Darden Rice and Amy Foster won their races.