St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon has garnered a list of bipartisan endorsers in his run for the city’s mayoral seat, including former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco.
Greco, who served as Tampa’s youngest Mayor after being elected at age 34, became a pivotal figure in Tampa’s history and its longest-serving chief executive.
The former Mayor served four terms from 1967 until 1974 and then again from 1995 until 2003.
“Robert is committed to making a difference,” Greco, a Democrat, said in a statement. “He’s a successful small business owner, a servant leader, and a voice for St. Pete’s future. His youth is combined with uncommon wisdom and vitality. He’ll be an outstanding Mayor.”
Blackmon also picked up an endorsement from conservative-leaning Redington Beach Mayor David Will.
“Robert Blackmon is not a politician, he is a public servant,” Will said in a statement. “He will listen to and act upon the needs of the citizens of St. Petersburg. Being Mayor requires a common sense approach to government, and he has it.”
Blackmon’s list of endorsers includes several local mayors, including Treasure Island Mayor Tyler Payne and former St. Pete Mayor Bob Ulrich. He has also received support from Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters and former Rep. Larry Ahern, who previously served Florida’s 66th District in northwestern Pinellas County.
“Being Mayor is not just a job. It isn’t a step on a ladder or a subsidy for unemployed politicians. It takes an ability to listen, a desire to innovate, and a willingness to make the tough calls,” Blackmon said in a statement. “The endorsements from Mayor Greco, Mayor Will, and our local chief executives underlines that I am the only candidate ready to lead St. Pete on day one.”
The City Council member has also been endorsed by the Florida Gulf Coast Associated Builders and Contractors and the Iron Workers Local 397 unions.
The latest polling shows Blackmon doing well in the race, moving up to the second spot, trailing Ken Welch, and ahead of fellow City Council member Darden Rice. That poll was released after a Florida Politics investigation found a series of eviction cases filed by Blackmon against tenants on a newly acquired property.
In the Primary, Welch leads with just over 23% support, with Blackmon trailing slightly at just under 22%. That’s a significant jump for Blackmon, who, in the previous poll taken June 21, collected just 12% support. Blackmon is also one of two more conservative options for the seat.