Pinellas County School Board members Bill Dudley and Lisa Cane are backing St. Petersburg City Council member Robert Blackmon in his bid for Mayor.
Cane, who represents District 2 on the Board, is the founder and creative director of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Academy. She was elected to the Board in 2018.
“As a current Pinellas County School Board Member and Creative Director of The Tampa Bay performing Arts Academy, I know how important it is to dedicate our focus on maintaining arts in education and paving the road for employment-ready graduates,” Cane said in a statement. “As St. Petersburg’s next Mayor, I know Robert Blackmon will continue to foster partnerships to expand the rich arts and civic culture for the St. Petersburg Community.”
Dudley, who represents District 6, is a former Pinellas County high school coach. He was also first elected to the School Board in 2018, and previously served two terms on St. Pete City Council.
“As a current school board member, former teacher, coach and city council member, I know how to tell when someone is a hometown leader — Robert Blackmon is exactly that. He has innovative ideas for our city’s future and takes pride in our community’s education of our youth,” Dudley said in a statement. “Rob’s saving of the science center is only the beginning to the victories he will have as Mayor of St. Petersburg. Robert Blackmon has my full and complete endorsement.”
Blackmon has also brought in endorsements from Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls and state Reps. Nick DiCeglie and Jackie Toledo. The endorsements follow a nod from former St. Pete Mayor Rick Baker, who announced his support for Blackmon.
Other city leaders have also endorsed Blackmon, including former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, former St. Pete Mayor Bob Ulrich, Treasure Island Mayor Tyler Payne, and Redington Beach Mayor David Will. Pinellas County Commissioner Kathleen Peters, the former Mayor of South Pasadena, also endorsed Blackmon.
Blackmon faces former Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch in the Nov. 2 General Election.
The pair are running to replace term-limited Mayor Rick Kriseman, who has endorsed Welch as his successor.