St. Pete election: Ken Welch and Robert Blackmon set for mayoral faceoff

Ken Welch is joined by wife Donna and daughters Kenya and Keonna before filing paperwork to run for mayor at St. Petersburg City Hall on Friday, Jan. 15. Daniel Figueroa IV/WMNF

St. Petersburg held its primary election Tuesday, setting up a November showdown for mayor between Ken Welch and Robert Blackmon.


Welch is 20-year County Commission veteran. His father, David, was only the second Black council member elected in the city and once ran for mayor himself.

Blackmon is currently in the middle of his first term on City Council.

Since no candidate secured 50 percent of the vote on election night, the top two – Welch and Blackmon – move onto the general election. Welch got about 39 percent of the vote while Blackmon took about 28. However, less than a third of registered voters turned out.

Tuesday’s election also set up November’s council races. Bobby Shay Lee and Copley Gerdes finished virtually tied and will face off for District 1. District 4 will see Lisa Hanewicz against Tom Mullins. Hanewicz nearly doubled Mullins primary pull. Richie Floyd took a commanding lead with more than 50 percent of the vote in District 8. He’ll compete against Jeff Danner in November.

Primary elections for council seats are limited to voters within respective districts, but the general election is city-wide.

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