ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Mayor Rick Kriseman raised a rainbow flag over city hall for the fourth consecutive year on Thursday morning to herald in the city’s annual Pride weekend festivities.
Kriseman also introduced Jim Nixon as his his new volunteer LGBT liaison.
“I am so pleased this has become a tradition in the Sunshine City,” Kriseman said. “When I first raised this flag in 2014, it was to serve as an illustration of our new vision, and to signal to our residents and visitors that it was a new day here in city hall.
“I also thought it was about time that the mayor recognized and celebrated our LBGT community.”
St. Petersburg's Democratic mayor could have been referring to former Republican Mayor Rick Baker's decision to avoid the Pride Parade during his tenure from 2001-2010.
Kriseman and Baker will compete against one another for St. Petersburg mayor. The Pinellas County primary election is set for Aug. 29.
Baker does not plan to participate in Saturday's Pride Parade, according to the Tampa Bay Times. However, Baker did attend the Tampa Bay Rowdies' Pride event on June 10 at Al Lang Stadium.
Some 200,000 people attended last year's Pride Parade.
St. Pete Pride is a month-long festival in June.