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St. Pete Mayor Kriseman Said to Be Eyeing Governorship

August 24, 2019 - 6:00am
Rick Kriseman
Rick Kriseman

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is a man with ambitions that could reach as far as the Florida Governor's Mansion or the U.S. Capitol building.

The whispers by insiders on both sides of Tampa Bay are screaming “Governor.”  Kriseman and his team, however, can assess the political landscape at the end of his second term in 2021, a year before both Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio will be up for re-election.

The only other name floated on the Democratic side as a potential challenger for governor is Andrew Gillum, the former Tallahassee mayor who came up 35,000 votes short against DeSantis in 2018.

Kriseman, donning a finely tailored suit and sporting perfectly groomed facial hair, on Thursday addressed the Tampa Bay Mobility Alliance as keynote speaker.  The audience of about 125 included most key transit advocates in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties who for 20 years have relentlessly promoted the spending of billions of tax dollars for regional mass transit.

Kriseman didn’t waste any time playing to the crowd and reviewing his accomplishments in the transit realm.

He kneecapped Florida Sen. Rick Scott, excoriating him for not accepting billions in federal funds in 2011 for high speed rail that would have connected Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Miami.

“It’s surreal that a politician would have turned down funding that would have solved the state’s transportation woes,” Kriseman asserted, without mentioning Scott by name.  The spend-at-any-cost pro-transit crowd lapped it up.

High-speed rail has boosted connectivity in other countries, especially China, he noted, adding that such service would mean a 45-minute commute between St. Petersburg and Disney World.

Lauding the Cross-Bay Ferry, Kriseman said that the service should become a permanent fixture.  He made sure to mention that St. Petersburg has done due diligence on e-scooters in order to avoid the safety, liability, and clutter issues plaguing other cities.  The mayor spotlighted his city’s bus rapid-transit system as a good example of what can be accomplished on the local level.

After the 90-minute session concluded, Sunshine State News asked Kriseman about his future political plans.  The mayor adhered to the template universally employed by every politician thirsting for higher office.

”I’ve got two more years as mayor of St. Petersburg and we’ve got important issues facing the city,” Kriseman smiled. “I’m not thinking beyond that.”

He didn’t call the chorus of whispers that he'll make a gubernatorial run “ridiculous,” or dismiss them out of hand.

When 2022 rolls around, Kriseman will have had 8 years overseeing the fifth most populous city in Florida. He also served three terms in the Florida House from 2006-2012 and was a member of the St. Petersburg City Council from 2000 to 2006.

There are two factors that will weigh heavily on the mayor’s decision -- and any other Democrat infected with the bug to run statewide: how Florida votes in the 2020 election and the results of the 2020 election and their party’s much-ballyhooed effort to register one million new voters by 2020.   

Kriseman drew a sizable crowd Thursday
Kriseman drew a sizable crowd Thursday

Jim Bleyer, a former reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and Tampa Tribune, writes the Tampa Bay Beat blog.


Not a bad choice! But, I'd rather see David Jolly taking the big step!

Sen. Gary Farmer, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat who is in charge of recruiting candidates, said in a text message Friday that state Rep. Javier Fernandez, a South Miami Democrat who was elected to the House in November, is “strongly considering” entering the race. Former state Rep. Robert Asencio, a Miami Democrat who lost his re-election bid last year, is also expected to enter the race, Farmer said.....................Copy and paste.......................

Good luck with that "Mayor" ( You know, you look an awful lot like the "Communist Mayor" in New York City? Any "relativity" there?)

Completely nutty comment.

Nah. Nikki Fried will run for Governor and none of these other idiots will run

Just what Florida needs, Anti-American Anti -Constitutional socialist.

Ahhhhhhh let Ricky dream.

Little Ricky will never get my vote! He has all but destroyed Saint Petersburg with his failure to control wastewater spills, pumping partially treated water into the aquifer, and overbuilding available space. All the high end condos and homes are pricing out those with a moderate income. There is no affordable housing left in this city.

This is just another hair brained idea with no consideration given to transportation from terminals to the venue. Mass transit in Florida has always been a flop. A car is required to get around in this state due to the poorly thought out mass transit systems.

Rick Kriseman is a buffoon that must be defeated.

Oh he's a demoncrat and a #onkey. Florida leftists will never support him.

He can't manage St. Petes sewage mess yet has state expectations. Keeps getting voted in by whom????

Scott deserves far more than a dis as he put Florida train transport back 60 yrs...……...Had he not stopped the corporate paid for HSR, we'd have a great HSR from Tampa to Orlando and going up the east coast eventually to Boston...………….But instead we got nothing but a company Scott is invested in putting in 1930s rail tech running at ground level killing people, causing traffic jams and noise all day and night...…….Such a deal...……...And one has to wonder how Scott got that Brightline/Virgin stock as he got it right when the HSR was canceled?...…………..He spent $68mm? of his own money to buy the senate seat yet barely won.

Scott is just a 'crimina'l who wasn't ever officially charged or adjudicated! Right now, he's trying to preserve the possibility of making some money on natural gas lines or on illegal gold mines in Venezuela and, of course, NOW he's pushing Brightline/Virgin because he owns stock in that enterprise. ChromeDome is as slimey a swamp creature as they come!

Every sane person in Florida knew that the HSR was a horrible and stupid idea that would have hurt our economy and our environment and provided nothing in return for the vast majority of Floridians. Thank God Governor Scott killed this foolish boondoggle.

Glad to see that someone else sees what a disaster Scott was for our state. His interest is only in "what it means to him", and not what it would mean to the citizens of Florida.

Shame we didn't have HSR to run Scott out of town on! Scott=environmental enemy No. 1. But it sounds like Kriseman couldn't handle job "No. 2" so I doubt he'll be governor anytime soon.

Evidently there are more voters in Florida that do not want the HSR and fortunately, that is not likely to change in the future.

You are absolutely correct Ron.

That is BS Ron. Prove it.

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