Dennis Kucinich endorses Ed Helm in St. Pete Mayor's race

08/31/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday

In less than 24 hours, St. Petersburg voters go to the polls. Mayor Rick Baker leaves due to term limits at the end of the year.

One dark horse candidate, 2005 general election runner-up Ed Helm, today received an endorsement from Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

It’s not the first Washington based endorsement that Helm, the controversial Democrat who ran and lost to Rick Baker in 2005, has received in his 2009 campaign.

Former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley and former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton have also come out in support of Helm, who previously worked on Capitol Hill as an attorney with the Office of the Solicitor in the U.S. Department of Labor.

But Helm is one of ten candidates vying to get in a probable run-off election which would take place in November if none of the candidates end up getting over 50% in tomorrow’s primary election. Polls have indicated that former City Council members Bill Foster and Kathleen Ford are leading, with Scott Wagman and Deveron Gibbons not far behind.

But with a strong amount of the electorate saying they were undecided as of late last week, one of the 6 other candidates could break through.

Dennis Kucinich was only 31 years old when he was elected the Mayor of Cleveland in 1977. In 1979, he survived a recall election, but then was defeated for re-election later that year by now Senator George Voinovich.

But before he was turned out of office, he was successful in a battle against selling the municipal electric utility, as he spoke about today.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Mayor Rick Baker had decided to honor the city’s contracts with union employees, reversing his earlier decision to withhold $2.3 million dollars in city raises. We asked Mayoral candidate Ed Helm his thoughts.

Among the other candidates in the race include City Councilman Jamie Bennett, former City Councilman Larry Williams, as well as Paul Congemi, Richard Eldridge, and John Warren.

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