The Florida National Organization for Women PAC has issued a dual-endorsement of Ken Welch and Darden Rice as the two compete for the St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office.
The endorsement extends to both Democrats, who are continuing to go head-to-head in the race. While Welch is the race’s front-runner, Rice trails behind in third, according to the latest poll. Wedged between the two is Republican candidate and St. Pete City Council member Robert Blackmon.
The Florida NOW PAC says i’s mission is to employ grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls.
The two top Democrats each have a fair share of endorsements.
In addition to a recent compilation of LGBTQ advocates supporting Welch’s campaign, the former Pinellas County Commissioner has also garnered endorsements from former St. Pete Mayor Bill Foster, a Republican, as well as current Democratic Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is vacating the seat because of term limits.
While the two share an endorsement from Florida NOW, things have gotten heated between the candidates in recent weeks. The latest spat involved mailers sent by Rice’s affiliated political committee tying Welch to Donald Trump supporters. Rice quickly drew criticism for the mailers and has since responded.
In announcing its mayoral endorsements for St. Pete, the Florida NOW PAC also presented a list of City Council candidates it’s supporting.
The Florida NOW PAC endorsed incumbents Gina Driscoll and Brandi Gabbard in their reelection bids for District 6 and 2, respectively. The organization also announced support for candidates Lisset Hanewicz, a lawyer running for District 4, and Richie Floyd, a local teacher racing for District 8. The group did not release any endorsements for the Council’s District 1 race.