'Battle of the Ricks': Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker announces run for old office

Rick Baker runs for St. Pete Mayor

ST. PETERSBURG - Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker announced Monday he is running for his old position.

Baker, 60, made an official announcement on his intentions to run for mayor on Tuesday morning outside of St. Petersburg's City Hall.

On his Facebook page, the Republican says he helped rebuild the Sundial in downtown St. Petersburg and that he will try to bring Major League Soccer to St. Petersburg.

Baker served as St. Petersburg mayor from 2001-2010. His second term expired in January 2010, and he did not seek reelection at the time.

 “I welcome all candidates to this race,” said incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman in a Facebook post.

Kriseman, 54, has served as mayor since January 2014. The Democrat served on the St. Petersburg City Council during much of Baker’s tenure.

“Rick Baker had eight years as mayor and is now asking voters for more,” said Kriseman’s campaign manager Jacob Smith. “Unfortunately for Rick Baker, this city is eager to pursue its future, not turn back the clock and unwind our progress with the Rays, the Pier, the police department, and economic development and opportunity creation in South St. Pete.

“Rick Baker is simply out of step with St. Pete.”

Smith also cited Baker’s “work against our first African-American president in the country’s history,” Barack Obama.

Several people on Twitter have already tweeted about the “Battle of the Ricks.”

The Pinellas County primary election is set for Aug. 29.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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