Dear Friend:During the last few weeks, I have evaluated the opportunity to run for Mayor of St. Petersburg this year. I am thankful and humbled by your support, encouragement and counsel, and I am confident that with your support we could wage a compelling campaign to lead St. Petersburg. However, the true measure of leadership is not competition for competition’s sake, but choosing the path that is in the best interest of the community.
During this process of reflection and evaluation, a friend reminded me of President Obama’s principle of the “fierce urgency of now,” and the need for innovative leadership from the next St. Petersburg Mayor. While I agree with that perspective, I also strongly believe that the same urgency applies to the County Commission, JWB, and other countywide boards that I am honored to serve on currently. The coming months will bring unprecedented change to the structure, scope, and mission of County government, and those changes will affect all of the citizens of Pinellas County, including my St. Petersburg neighbors. In particular, I am concerned about the potential impact to affordable housing, health and human services, public safety and children’s services.
While the Mayor’s office is very appealing, I feel compelled to remain engaged in at the County level, to maintain these vital services for our community and to fully participate in the reshaping of Pinellas County government. Therefore after careful consideration I have concluded that at this time, I can best serve our community by continuing to focus all of my energies on my County Commission duties.
I will not be a candidate for Mayor of St. Petersburg this year.
I wish all of the Mayoral candidates well, and look forward to working with Mayor Baker, and his successor, to conquer the significant challenges before us. Thanks as always for your collaboration, friendship and support. God bless.