Cory Booker records robocall for Rick Kriseman in St. Pete mayoral contest - Florida Politics

Cory Booker records robocall for Rick Kriseman in St. Pete mayoral contest

He’s already been endorsed by Barack Obama and Joe Biden; now Cory Booker is putting his stature behind Rick Kriseman‘s re-election bid.

Friday afternoon, the New Jersey Democratic senator cut a robocall for the St. Petersburg mayor.

“Rick Kriseman is the clear choice for St. Pete mayor,” Booker said in a statement. “He is a progressive and a proven leader, and he wants to move St. Pete forward, not backwards. Mayor Kriseman led the way on important issues like banning the box, and his Second Chance program for kids and apprenticeship programs are having a real impact on reducing poverty. Under his leadership, St. Petersburg is a safer city with more opportunity for all.”

Booker is the third nationally known Democrat to endorse Kriseman in the past week, following in-person testimonials from former San Antonio Mayor and HUD Secretary Julian Castor and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. 

“I’m incredibly honored to have the support of Senator Booker,” Kriseman said, adding that registered voters should take advantage of the opportunities for early voting this weekend or return their vote-by-mail ballots if they haven’t already done so.

Kriseman himself voted Friday with his wife Kerry at the one early voting location, right across the street from City Hall on Fifth Street North.

The Booker endorsement is the latest example of how invested the national Democratic party is in seeing Kriseman re-elected, as he faces a serious challenge from former Mayor Rick Baker.

Although officially nonpartisan, the mayoral race has been anything but, with Kriseman touting his Democratic party credentials throughout the campaign and frequently associating Baker with Republican Party standard-bearer Donald Trump, who was easily defeated by Hillary Clinton in St. Pete during last year’s presidential election.

While Baker has repeatedly criticized Kriseman for nationalizing the election, Baker himself has received tens of thousands of dollars from Republican Party interests in his political action committee, including $25,000 from Rick Scott’s PAC.

Below is the full transcript of the robocall:

“This is U.S. Senator Cory Booker, and today I’m asking you to get out and vote for Rick Kriseman for mayor.

As a former mayor and the first African-American senator in New Jersey, the choice for me is clear: Rick Kriseman is a progressive and a proven leader, and he wants to move St. Pete forward, not backwards.

Rick Kriseman led the way on banning the box and his Second Chance program for kids and apprenticeship programs are having a real impact on reducing poverty.

Under his leadership, St. Pete is a safer city with more opportunity for all.

Please return your absentee ballot or vote on Election Day … Nov. 7, for Rick Kriseman.

I’m Cory Booker, and I strongly endorse Rick Kriseman for mayor.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa for 15 years. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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