Former Pinellas Sheriff Endorses Kriseman
Jim Coats was Pinellas County sheriff from 2004 to 2011.
ST. PETERSBURG – Jim Coats, who served as Pinellas County sheriff from 2004 to 2011, has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman for re-election.
“I am proud to endorse Mayor Rick Kriseman’s candidacy for Mayor of St. Petersburg. I had the privilege of working with the mayor during his time in the Florida Legislature and always found him to be accessible, thoughtful and open-minded. I can attest he is an outstanding public servant with remarkable character. I’ve been impressed by the improvements the mayor has made in the police department including re-branding the department, empowering his police chief and command staff, and making the agency attractive to new employee applicants. A community’s public safety is a quality of life issue which ranks at the top of most citizens’ priorities. The residents of St. Petersburg will be best served under Mayor Kriseman’s leadership for another term,” Coats said.
Coats, who served during the majority of former Mayor Rick Baker’s two terms, joins the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association in endorsing Kriseman for re-election.
“I have tremendous admiration for Sheriff Coats and his four decades of service to Pinellas County and our community. He always put people and public safety ahead of politics, which helped to make him one of our state’s most respected law enforcement leaders. His praise for our police department is more proof that we are on the right track, and is yet another reason why Tony Holloway’s future as chief is secure for as long as I am mayor,” Kriseman said.
Although municipal races are non-partisan, Coats’ endorsement is especially noteworthy because it crosses party lines. Coats is a Republican; Kriseman, a Democrat.
Kriseman is running for his second term as St. Petersburg mayor. He is facing challenges from Baker, Jesse Nevel, Paul Congemi, Anthony Cates, and Theresa Lassiter.
The primary is Aug. 29. If no candidate gets at least 50 percent plus one vote, the two top votegetters will move on to the general election on Nov. 7. The St. Petersburg mayor serves four years and earns $180,895 a year.
For information about Kriseman, go to krisemanformayor.com.
Photo of Jim Coats courtesy of Pinellas County.
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