Bill Foster picks up endorsement of Mayor Rick Baker and others
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09/09/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

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On the steps of City Hall this morning, outgoing St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker announced that he is endorsing Bill Foster to be his replacement.

After 8 years in office, Rick Baker is term-limited as St. Pete's Mayor. He says there are two reasons why he is endorsing Bill Foster over his opponent Kathleen Ford.

Last week's primary election trimmed the field of contenders to replace Mayor Baker from ten to two. Bill Foster received the most votes, 27 percent, and he was followed closely by Kathleen Ford. Both are lawyers and former City Council members. Bill Foster says that because of the current economic crisis, several familiar concepts have needed to be redefined in city government.

Several former St. Pete Mayors, and nearly a dozen former and one current City Council member stood behind Baker and Foster during the announcement. Former Mayors Don Jones, Randy Wedding, and Bob Ulrich all support Bill Foster's bid to assume the office they once held. As does Baker's predecessor Mayor David Fischer.

Former Mayor Bob Ulrich lauded Foster's educational background - from an undergrad degree in public administration to law school.

Eleven former City Council members support Bill Foster for Mayor: Bob Kersteen, Bea Griswold, Bill Davenport, Connie Kone, Virginia Littrell, Dean Staples, Rene Flowers, Jim Martin, Earnest Williams, Jay Lasita, and Larry Williams. Until he came in fifth in last Tuesday's primary election for the seat, Larry Williams had been an opponent of Bill Foster, but now he hopes Foster will become Mayor.

Kathleen Ford has been endorsed by the Pinellas Democrats. Bill Dudley was the only current City Council member at Wednesday’s press conference to endorse Bill Foster. “[Foster] tends to be a little more cerebral.”

The St. Petersburg Times has endorsed Bill Foster for Mayor, based in part on what they say is Kathleen Ford's temperament when she was a member of City Council. The election is November 3rd.

Bill Foster

Kathleen Ford

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