Someone created a Twitter page aimed at wooing former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker to run for Congress against Pinellas County Democrat Charlie Crist in Florida Congressional District 13.
The Twitter handle @DraftRickBaker emerged Tuesday with a message.
“Pinellas needs a leader in Congress who cares about us, and that’s Rick Baker,” the page’s first post reads. “If you agree, please follow us and spread our message.”
As of 5 p.m., the page had just three followers. One is this reporter. Another is the Twitter group Keep Florida Red, which the administrator of the new Baker page claims is behind the effort. The third is Florida Efficiency Report, a conservative pro-constitution group.
The group is not affiliated with any political committees and is only on Twitter.
In a text message, Baker said he wasn’t aware of the Twitter page and that he has “no present intention or plans to run for office again.”
The Draft Rick Baker page offered the following response to Florida Politics’ inquiry about its efforts:
“This campaign was created after looking at the current field of GOP candidates running for Charlie Crist’s seat and realizing that none of them had the ability to win back this seat and serve this community well.
“The top candidate so far has only lived in Pinellas for a few years and they have little connection to the people they want to represent. Rick Baker is the best candidate to not only defeat Charlie Crist, but to really make a difference for this community.
“He cares for the people (no matter their party) and will make an effective congressman. He’ll work with both parties to get a lot done for our area and I think that’s what attracts a lot of people to him. He’s one of the good ones.
“We created this account so that the people who feel the same way can make their voice heard and encourage Rick to run for Congress. We plan on creating a Facebook and Instagram page soon to expand our reach to those in Pinellas and get to message out.”
Four Republicans are currently running in the primary for Crist’s seat. Those include Amanda Makki, a former adviser to Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski; former Republican National Convention executive Matt Becker; former attorney Sheila Griffin and perennial candidate George Buck.