St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is backing Florida House candidate Lindsay Cross in her run to succeed Rep. Ben Diamond.
Kriseman credited his endorsement to Cross’ work as an environmental scientist.
“Lindsay Cross will bring a scientist’s perspective and fact-based policy to Tallahassee. That’s why I’m endorsing her to be our next Representative in District 68,” Kriseman said in a statement. “St. Petersburg deserves a proven leader who is dedicated to our Democratic values, who will protect our environment, and who isn’t afraid to take on Tallahassee. I know Lindsay is up to the task and I look forward to supporting her campaign.”
The well-known Mayor’s endorsement puts Cross, a Democrat, in a good starting position for the race. Cross is so far the only candidate in the race for House District 68, which Diamond is vacating to run for Congress.
“Mayor Kriseman has led the way on many conservation efforts here in St Pete, like committing to 100% renewable energy by 2035. He’s made investments in our infrastructure to prepare for the effects of climate change and has increased access to our parks and natural areas for all residents,” Cross said in a statement. “That’s why I’m so honored to accept the endorsement of Mayor Kriseman. Throughout his career, my Mayor has pushed our city, our region, and our state forward.”
Cross previously ran unsuccessfully against Sen. Jeff Brandes for Senate District 24. Then, she was an underdog candidate in a difficult matchup against a well-known incumbent. Cross entered the race late after another candidate, Carrie Pilon, bowed out to tend to family medical matters. Her late start left fundraising efforts sluggish and didn’t give her enough time to build funding momentum to even come close to matching Brandes.
But this time around, she’s getting an early start, so she might not face the same funding challenges. Still, her experience battling from the bottom could serve her well in a race that will have one major unknown — its political makeup.
As of the end of April, HD 68 has a nearly 7,000 voter registration advantage with 46,096 Democrats to 39,207 Republicans. But with redistricting occurring ahead of the 2022 election, that could change if the Republican majority in the Legislature redraws boundaries to boost its advantage.