St. Pete firefighters back Ken Welch in mayoral race

Welch, Ken - 2
The group credited their endorsement to Welch's commitment to first responders.

The St. Petersburg Association of Firefighters is backing former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch‘s bid for Mayor.

The local firefighter union credited their endorsement of Welch to his commitment to first responders.

“The consensus of the St. Petersburg Association of Firefighters Local 747 screening committee was that Ken’s history of public service and understanding of the challenges faced by first responders makes him a great candidate that will put public safety first,” the St. Pete Association of Firefighters Local 747 wrote in a statement. “We believe you will honorably serve the citizens of St. Petersburg and the interests of the men and women in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services, who have made the protection of life and property their life’s work.”

Welch has raked in a long list of endorsements, most recently from Progress Florida, a political organization that advocates for progressive policies, and City Council member Brandi Gabbard. With Gabbard’s endorsement, five City Council members have endorsed Welch.

He’s also garnered support from Sen. Darryl RousonEquality Florida Action PAC, and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

“I’m honored to have the support of our local firefighters,” Welch responded. “Our first responders put their lives on the line to support our community at our most trying times. I’ve always stood with our first responders to provide the resources, support, and funding they deserve to do their job at the highest level. I’ll continue to do so as Mayor of St. Pete as we continue to put a priority on public safety in our community.”

Welch faces St. Pete City Council member Robert Blackmon in the Nov. 2 General Election after finishing first in a crowded field in the Aug. 24 Primary. He’s running to replace Mayor Rick Kriseman, who is leaving office due to term limits and has also endorsed Welch as his successor.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


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