Former mayor Rick Baker is now challenging current mayor Rick Kriseman in the upcoming race to lead the city of St. Petersburg. While the primary election is not until August, people are already paying attention to this race.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - With much fan fare, former two term Mayor Rick Baker finally ended speculation.
"I am running to be the next mayor of St. Petersburg," said Baker.
Baker received many loud cheers and endorsements from current and former political heavyweights.
"I am here today to endorse proven leadership," said current council woman Leslie Curran.
Baker said he is running again to to bring the city together. The 60-year-old is not shying away from what he feels is the current status of St. Pete.
"It's been disastrous," said Baker.
He cited issues in Midtown, stalled construction over the pier and continuing problems with the city's sewer system.
He also reminded his supporters of a massive mess: dumping 50 gallons of sewage in the bay.
"That is a pretty big mistake," said Baker.
"I welcome any challenger," said Kriseman.
Kriseman stands by his leadership in his first term.
"It's not about going back in time and the past. I look forward to talking about what we have been able to accomplish and what we want to do going forward," said Kriseman.
Mainly that pier project, the future of the Tampa Bay Rays and building a new police station.
But Kriseman perhaps also anticipating Baker's move is getting prepared for what is expected to be the most contentious race in the city's history.
The 54-year-old already raised more than $400,000, secured many endorsements and already launched his TV add campaign "Moving Forward."
Baker teams said his ads will soon follow but's he's already on YouTube.
Both giving voters lots take in before the upcoming primary election in August.