Robert Blackmon faces backlash over eviction attempts; and other issues plaguing the St. Pete Mayor’s race

St. Petersburg election candidates
Robert Blackmon and John Hornbeck. By Seán Kinane / WMNF News.

St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon canceled his scheduled interview Tuesday on The Scoop with Janelle Irwin and new co-host Evan Donovan citing a scheduling conflict just minutes before air time.

Blackmon’s cancelation came after Florida Politics reported Blackmon attempted to evict three tenants from a property he owns, Paradise Apartments in South St. Pete. The eviction suits have since been dropped, but community activists rallying for affordable housing aren’t backing down from over-arching issues.

In this episode, we discuss issues facing affordable housing in the city, the pitfalls of gentrification and generational poverty.

In other mayoral news, St. Pete City Council member Darden Rice is coming under fire from critics after her campaign, through her affiliated political committee, Friends of Darden Rice, sent mailers to St. Pete voters this weekend attempting to tie opponent Ken Welch, a former Pinellas County Commissioner, to former President Donald Trump.

The campaign literature cited Tampa Bay Times reporting on some of Welch’s endorsements from local Republicans.

While true, Welch’s supporters were quick to point out Rice has accepted donations from a number of Republicans, to the tune of thousands of dollars. They also took issue with her use of a stock photo of a Black woman to negatively campaign against a Black opponent.

And in state news, we talk about new allegations facing Sen. Joe Gruters, chair of the Republican Party of Florida, of sexual harassment against a male staffer.

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