Ford concedes mayoral vote

11/04/09 Kate Bradshaw
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As Bill Foster and his supporters reveled in the news of his victory, there was a more subdued tone at opponent Kathleen Ford’s Election Night party at the Garden Club of Saint Petersburg.

The classic Bob Dylan tune “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” seemed a fitting farewell for a mayoral race so seemingly beset by contention. Not long after the polls closed, Ford ascended the stage and told her supporters that she had conceded victory to her opponent. She thanked those who worked on her campaign profusely.

Ford Campaign Treasurer Gaelynn Thurman, a Republican, had been waving Ford signs by the roadside all day Tuesday. She said that the local media’s portrayal of Ford was detrimental to the campaign. Thurman said that the media had cast Ford as someone who was impossible to work with, which she said is categorically false.

St. Pete Chapter Chair of the Florida Public Service Union Frida Exom agreed that the portrayal was unfair, but that it drew attention to key issues within the city. Exom said that she hopes Mayor-Elect Foster will treat the city as a whole rather than focus on a few aspects of the community.

Shaking hands with her supporters after she broke the news, Ford maintained a sense of optimism, though she did say she has no plans to run again as of yet. Instead, she said, she will continue to work on the issues she sees as most important, including Rays Stadium.

Ford added that she will do so by way of advocacy. As for the immediate future, she said, kayaking Weedon Island Preserve tops her list.

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