ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Former U.S. President Barack Obama formally endorsed incumbent Rick Kriseman in next week’s election for St. Petersburg mayor.

Obama’s endorsement comes ahead of the Aug. 29 election.

“As mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman has taken on big challenges to move St. Pete forward,” said former President Obama in a news release. “From raising the minimum wage and fighting for equality, to bold leadership on climate change, Rick was a great ally on the priorities of my administration. I strongly endorse Rick Kriseman as the only choice for continued progress for St. Petersburg.”

The Democratic mayor is running against former Republican Mayor Rick Baker, Ernisa Barnwell, Anthony Cates III, Paul “The Truth” Congemi, Theresa “Momma Tee” Lassiter and Jesse Nevel.

More: Click here to view a sample election ballot

If one of the candidates garners 50 percent or more of the vote, that candidate wins the mayoral seat outright without triggering a Nov. 7 runoff.

“I am incredibly honored to have the support of President Barack Obama as we continue our work of moving St. Pete forward,” Kriseman said in a news release. “President Obama's leadership had a positive impact on our city. His historic election inspired us.

Kriseman, 55, has served as mayor of St. Petersburg since he assumed office in 2014.

Baker, 61, served as St. Petersburg mayor from 2001-2010.

Go to Pinellas County's website for more information on the election.

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