Will Kathleen Ford become next Mayor of St Pete?
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11/02/09 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

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Tomorrow, St. Petersburg voters will choose either Kathleen Ford or Bill Foster to be the next Mayor, replacing Rick Baker who is term-limited. According to the St. Petersburg Times, over 20,000 voters have already mailed in ballots in the city.

Today, WMNF spoke with both candidates for Mayor. Kathleen Ford says she has a range of emotions the day before election day.

Kathleen Ford: “Oh, we’re excited and nervous and anticipating what the results will be.”

WMNF: “And those results are flavored maybe some polls that we’ve seen recently where it shows you’re up by a few points over Bill Foster, and it’s right outside the margin of error. What do you think about those polls?"

Ford: “Well, we know it’s close and, of course, they’re polls. It just depends on who shows up and how they vote. And, of course, we want them to vote for Kathleen Ford tomorrow."

WMNF: “And how does it look for turnout? There are two things to look at: one is actual turnout on Election Day, tomorrow, and the other is the large number of mail-in votes that have already been received—over 26,000 in the county, which may be about 20,000 in St. Peterburg by last Friday. What do you think about those two aspects of turnout?”

Ford: “Well, it’s been an interesting race because of the number of those mail ballots. And, you know, we’re concerned that folks will try to mail those ballots tomorrow. And, of course, they won’t be counted. And so we’re telling folks, if you think you’re going to mail the ballot tomorrow, don’t do that. Go on down to the precinct and give your ballot in and they’ll let you vote right there. But if you try to mail it today or tomorrow, it’s too late. So we’re trying to get the word out to folks to go ahead and appear in person. Bring your mail ballot with you and they’ll let you vote at the poll.”

WMNF: "The St. Pete Times has endorsed your opponent and a lot of former city council members have also endorsed your opponent. What are your thoughts about that?"

Ford: “Well, I am just thrilled to have the endorsement of our St. Petersburg fire fighters and of our city workers who are a member of the Service Employee Union International. And, you know, I’ve also had some other endorsements. So, I am just absolutely thrilled with all the wonderful support that I have, and have had, continually through this campaign and my volunteers have just been awesome.

WMNF: “And I have to ask you about the 'HNIC' comment from a couple of weeks ago. What would you like to say?”

Ford: “Well I am just, I really want to make sure that everybody feels like they have access to me as their mayor. And I thinks it’s just really critical we that have open, accessible, accountable and affordable government for everyone. I remind everyone to get on out there and vote tomorrow.”

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