It's Foster and Ford in St. Pete in November
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09/02/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

Former City Council members Bill Foster and Kathleen Ford took the top two spots in last night’s Mayoral Primary Election in St. Petersburg, and will face off against each other one-on-one in November.

Foster received 27 percent of the vote to Ford’s 25.7 percent.

Two businessmen who had never run for office, Deveron Gibbons and Scott Wagman, finished 3rd and 4th respectively, with 19 and 15 percent of the vote.

Former City Councilman Larry Wllliams was 5th, and current Councilman Jamie Bennett finished a very disappointing 6th, with just 4% of the vote. Ed Helm, who ran against Mayor Rick Baker in his re-election victory in 2005, came in 7th, with just 1.5 percent.

Judithanne Scourfield McLaughlin is a Professor of Political Science and Director for Civic Engagement at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. She says she agreed with the analysis by St. Pete Times Political Editor Adam Smith, that Bill Foster should be the favorite in the November run-off. That’s because his campaign was not too dissimilar to what the Baker administration has been about for the past 8 years, while Ford is out making significant changes.

Tune into the Evening News later this week to hear what Professor McLaughlin has to say about the phenomenon of early voting and how it’s affecting campaigns. Early voting will begin very shortly for an election day that won’t be for two full months away.

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