Mayor Rick Kriseman, Rick Baker prepare for November mayoral battle in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Political analysts said the mayor’s race will be even tighter in November.

Voters will now decide who will take the office.

Votes came in under 50 percent for both Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker during Tuesday’s primaries.

Political analyst Barry Edwards believes the momentum is with Kriseman.

“They slayed the giant, so they’re all pumped up and the Baker people feel dejected because they had higher expectations,” said Edwards.

Edwards said Kriseman has the upper hand, because the area is strong with Democrats.

“He wanted to talk about what was stronger to him in this place. It’s the district. Even though it’s non-partisan. St. Pete vote 60/40 Democrat,” he said.

Edwards said Baker’s ad using Paul Congemi’s racist rant was powerful and gained some African American voters.

“The Paul Congemi ad kind of helped inoculate, especially in the African American community, that Baker was actually more aligned with their values,” said Edwards.

But, both have cons.

Edwards said for Kriseman, it’s the constant pressure of the pier, the sewage and the Rays.

Edwards said for Baker, support fell after President Donald Trump’s response to Charlottesville.

“Most people, it’s the better of two likes. ‘I like him a little bit better,’ not the lesser of two evils, it’s the better of two likes,” said Edwards.

Edwards also believes that voters who didn’t vote for either Kriseman or Baker will not vote in November.

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