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What Becomes Of The Pier And Who Becomes Mayor?

What Becomes Of The Pier And Who Becomes Mayor?

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (970 WFLA) - It's a referendum that has defined this primary election, eclipsing almost all other issues.

The Pier--and whether the city of St. Pete should continue with the so-called Lens project that has created so much debate.

The ballot question asks if the city should cancel its contract with Lens architects.  A 'yes' vote means no more Lens.  A 'no' vote means a continuation of the Lens process.

What happens to the Pier after the Tuesday vote?  Mayor Bill Foster has assembled his 8/28 Alliance comprised of stakeholders in the Pier issue who would help guide the city toward a new Pier or galvanize support for the Lens. 

The referendum came about after citizen groups collected more than 20,000 signatures to place the Lens issue on the ballot. 

Meantime, voters will make their choice for mayor.  There are five candidates with the three frontrunners being Kathleen Ford, Rick Kriseman and incumbant Bill Foster. 

Regarding the Pier, Foster supports the Lens project.  Kriseman and Ford are against it.  As for the Rays and whether they should continue to play at Tropicana Field, Foster has reluctantly said he may be willing to let the team look at other Bay Area locations.  Kriseman echoes that thought as long as the team pays the city an exploration fee.   Ford says voters should decide if tax dollars are used to build a new stadium.

All three mayoral candidates have received endorsements, though only Ford and Kriseman have been endorsed by members of St. Pete city council. 

Ford has councilman Wengay Newton in her corner.  Kriseman has gotten the nod from councilmembers Leslie Curran, Charlie Gerdes, Steve Kornell and council chairman Karl Nurse.

Foster has gotten endorsements from the Suncoast PBA and St. Pete Chamber of Commerce.

Three council seats are being decided as well Tuesday--districts 4,6 and 8.  Those are single-members districts, so the top two vote-getters in each council race will advance to the November 5th general election. 

In the mayor's race, a candidate who gets 50%-plus-one-vote wins the election and becomes the next mayor.  If no mayoral candidate gets a majority of the vote, then there'll be a runoff on November 5th. 

Polls close Tuesday at 7 p.m..  Stay tuned to NewsRadio 970 WFLA and 970wfla.com for continuous coverage of Tuesday night's election.


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