Rick Kriseman for Mayor

Who am I?

I attended the University of Florida and the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, FL. I was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1987 and the U.S. District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, in 1988. I am also a member of the St. Petersburg and American Bar Associations and The Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

After serving on the St. Petersburg Nuisance Abatement Board in 1999, I was appointed to a vacancy on the St. Petersburg City Council in 2000, elected in 2001, and reelected in 2003 with more than 76 percent of the vote.

In 2005, I was elected by my peers to serve as the Chair of the St. Petersburg City Council.

During my six years of service on the City Council, I was dedicated to making St. Petersburg a better place to live, work, and visit. My record of accomplishments prompted me to seek a position in the Florida House of Representatives as a way of expanding my role as a public servant. After earning more than 60 percent of the vote in 2006, I was elected to be a state representative.

Soon after taking office, I was named the Ranking Democrat on the Committee on Energy and was appointed to both the Environment and Natural Resources Council and the Education Committee on 21st Century Competitiveness. All three assignments gave me the opportunity to address issues of great concern to our generation and future generations, and made me an influential voice on energy and education issues in Florida.

The economic downturn and increasingly partisan atmosphere in Tallahassee brought unprecedented challenges, yet I remained a thoughtful and effective advocate for my constituents. I was re-elected without opposition in 2008 and with nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2010. My colleagues rewarded my leadership and work ethic by naming me their Policy Chair for 2011-12.

As much as I strive to be a dedicated and faithful public servant, I put even greater emphasis on my role as a husband and a father. Nothing is more important.

Why am I running?

What motivates me is the potential that St. Petersburg has. I love our city, but I love its potential even more. The current occupant of the mayor's office has governed as a caretaker and that's not something a mayor of the 4th largest city in Florida should be. Further, one of the things I missed while serving in the Legislature was a place where ideas and policies mattered more than partisanship. And that’s what local government is all about, especially here in St. Pete. I'm running to solve some of the big problems we have in our city but I'm also running to be a proactive mayor that brings innovative ideas to the office. I feel like I can make a real difference.

My Goals

I have many goals beginning with resolving the big issues in town involving our pier and the future of the Tampa Bay Rays. As mayor, I will ensure that St. Petersburg takes a more active role in our public education system, which will have a positive impact on our economy. I would like to see service-learning implemented in our public schools. Service-learning, which I learned about from fmr. Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, integrates community service into the classroom curriculum. While in the Florida House I sponsored and passed legislation authorizing the FL Dept. of Education to create service-learning teaching plans.

Another initiative originally implemented in Maryland (by then-Mayor Martin O'Malley) is CitiStat, data-driven performance measures designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness. I would like to bring something similar to St. Pete.

There are many more policy ideas I would like to implement related to jobs, neighborhoods, criminal justice (exploring alternatives to incarcerating our youth) and even preparing for climate change and severe weather.

My DFA Values

My campaign has turned into a movement in St. Petersburg because we are embodying those values. I have a long track record of working to create a more fair and equal society.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Our campaign has the support of neighborhood leaders, business owners, grassroots activists, including members of the local Awake organization (Awake the State / Awake Pinellas) - which has helped lead the fight against Governor Rick Scott and Tallahassee's bad policies. Further, our campaign is receiving support from many who were a part of Obama for America (I was the first elected official on the west coast of Florida to endorse Barack Obama in 2007 and served as a surrogate for him in 2008 and 2012.)

Voice support


  • Ray Seaman
  • Teresa Wilson, FL
  • Harriet Lerman, FL
  • Ben Kirby, FL
  • Hillary Keyes, FL
  • vince cocks
  • Cathy Casas, FL
  • Gail Parsons
  • Jeff Clemens
  • Susan Smith, FL
...and 13 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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