Rick Kriseman has announced his candidacy for St. Petersburg Mayor, challenging Mayor Bill Foster.
Kriseman, 50, served 12 years in office as a council member in St. Petersburg and as a member of the Florida House. He will oppose Foster, also 50, in November.
"I love this city, but I love the potential it has even more," Kriseman said in his announcement video online.
Kriseman plans to boost economic development in the city by helping attract businesses, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Kriseman critized the current mayor for not being more active in luring businesses to St. Pete, the Times reports.
"I know the mayor. We served together for many years, he's a good person, I just don't think he's the right person to move us forward," Kriseman said in his announcement video.
"To me, the job of mayor isn't just to maintain the status quo, it's to be a problem solver, it's to be proactive and innovative," Kriseman added.
Kriseman told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that his two biggest issues that he wants to accomplish first, if elected, is the stalemate regarding the Tampa Bay Rays' stadium and The Pier, which is set to close in May.
According to the Times, Foster declined to comment regarding Kriseman's critism but did acknowledge that he is a credible opponent.
"The good news is that we both have a record to run on," Foster told the newspaper.
Kriseman was appointed to a vacant city council seat in 2000, was elected in 2001 and reelected in 2003. In 2006, Kriseman won a seat in the Florida House, where he was reelected in 2008 and 2010. He did not seek re-election in 2012.
Kriseman is married with two children and although he was born in Detroit, he was raised in St. Petersburg. His family moved here when he was 9. He attended Pasadena Elementary, Azalea Middle School and Boca Ciega High School. Kriseman earned a B.S. in broadcasting at the University of Florida and attended Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport.
For more information:
The City of St. Petersburg primary election will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 27 with the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
There are four council seats and the office of the Mayor on the ballot; council districts 2, 4, 6 and 8.
For more information about St. Petersburg City Elections visit the city's website.
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