St. Pete mayoral race gets statewide attention - FOX 13 News

St. Pete mayoral race gets statewide attention

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It is widely assumed Rick Scott will seek re-election as the Republican candidate for Florida governor. It is widely speculated former Republican and former governor Charlie Crist will attempt to be his Democratic challenger.

Both are now part of the 2013 contest to elect a mayor of St. Petersburg. Scott has thrown his support behind fellow Republican and incumbent Mayor Bill Foster. Monday, Crist endorsed challenger Rick Kriseman.

"This is important to me -- it's my hometown. It's where I grew up," Crist told reporters. Later, he told FOX 13 News Scott's endorsement of Foster was not a factor.

"No, I had already communicated to Rick that I wanted to support him and Carol and I just got back from a trip, so I wasn't able to do it until now," Crist said.

Late Monday afternoon, city councilman Wengay Newton became the sixth city council member to publicly endorse Kriseman. None of the eight members of the city council has endorsed Foster.

The incumbent is supported by the city's police and firefighter unions. Public service employees and the public teachers' union are backing Kriseman.

Neither candidate has the endorsement of former mayor Rick Baker. Baker told FOX 13 News he may make his preference known in the near future.

The election is already underway with early voting, with the official election day still a month away. Most polls show a very tight race between Foster and Kriseman.

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