While voters will take to the polls in Pinellas, Manatee and Polk counties to cast ballots for mayor and/or various referendums, the big race in the area is in St. Pete: Rick Kriseman, the mayor of St. Petersburg versus the former mayor Rick Baker taking back the office.

Vote sign photo/ Leslie Andrachuk via pixabay

The two candidates have raised $2.6 million to battle in St. Petersburg’s most expensive mayoral contest. The most recent poll has the race as a toss-up, within margin of error.

“The most recent poll, and the last before the election, puts St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman just ahead of his opponent, former Mayor Rick Baker,” Bizjournal summarizes. “A St. Pete Polls survey of 939 likely voters showed Kriseman with 48 percent support compared to Baker’s 46 percent. The two-point lead is within the margin of error.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

BALLOT INITIATIVES

A referendum on the ballot for Clearwater residents would help determine the direction of development in the downtown area: A “yes” vote would grant city authority to build, improve waterfront areas. A “no” vote would prohibit consideration of improvement projects

In Polk County, a quartet of candidates are seeking the mayor’s office. Bill Mutz, Jim Green, Patrick Shawn Jones and Chris Diaz.

Seats are also up for grabs in Auburndale and Winter Haven, and voters in both cities will weigh in on a number of charter amendments.

In Manatee County, commission seats will be decided in Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach, and either John Chappie or Bill Shearon will be voted Brandenton Beach’s mayor.

Rick Kriseman