LISTEN LIVE

Rick Baker

Mary Shedden/WUSF

Just a few months ago, less than 100 votes separated the two candidates in the race to be mayor of St. Petersburg.

That wasn't the case Tuesday night, as incumbent Rick Kriseman beat former mayor Rick Baker by more than 2,000 votes. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

It’s 13 days before the election, and one of the candidates for St. Petersburg Mayor finds himself in front of a class of University of South Florida St. Pete students, explaining what his last six months have been like.

"It has been a far different election that the city has ever seen for mayor, or for that matter, really in some ways, for any other race," said incumbent mayor, Rick Kriseman, who’s in a neck-and-neck race with former mayor Rick Baker.

The differing views of St. Petersburg mayoral candidates were on display Tuesday night as Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker gathered with residents for a forum to discuss issues affecting the city.

The race for St. Petersburg mayor is technically non-partisan. But party politics may have been a factor in the razor-thin primary finish Tuesday night.

In a rare move, former President Barack Obama made an endorsement in the St. Petersburg mayoral race. He threw his support behind current Mayor Rick Kriseman ahead of the August 29 primary election.


Did U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson really align himself with "communists and dictators" and support "murderers?" WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida about that claim, as well as whether St. Petersburg's mayor didn't refute a comment during a recent debate that blacks should "go back to Africa."


City of St. Petersburg, WUSF Public Media

Voters will soon pick the leader of one our state's largest cities -- St. Petersburg. This week on Florida Matters we're talking about how the mayoral race is shaping up, and what's at stake in its outcome.

Wikimedia Commons

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker has filed to enter the race for his old job against incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Baker, who served as the city's mayor from 2001 to 2010, filed paperwork with the city clerk’s office Monday morning for a race that officially is non-partisan.

GOP Struggles To Sell Message In Big Cities

Feb 16, 2014

San Diego voters did something highly unusual last Tuesday: They elected a Republican as mayor.

San Diego will now be the largest city in the country with a Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who has been serving on its city council. The next largest is Indianapolis.

In fact, of the nation's 100 largest cities, a grand total of nine now have GOP mayors, plus two other Republicans who are nominally independent.