Saint Petersburg Mayor Election Race – Last Saturday afternoon Anthony Cates III and I went door to door in the Southside of St. Pete to connect with the citizens that make up the heart and soul of St. Pete. As we visited with people handing out literature, answering questions and putting out yard signs, we ran into some individuals working for the Baker campaign who were also going door to door passing out fliers. We stopped to speak to a few of them.
Anthony asked one of the ladies, who was in her mid 30’s probably, why she was supporting Baker. She wasn’t very confident in her reasoning, her answer was “it’s a change we need”. Anthony responded that Baker is not a change candidate, he has been there before, and many citizens feel he let them down, “why would this time be any different?” She had no valid response, and even shook her head almost in agreement. We then asked for her thoughts on Baker’s policies, and how he raised over 500,000$ in a matter of weeks and if that concerned her. Again she didn’t offer much of an answer. Anthony gave her a flier, pointed to the number at the bottom and said “that’s my personal phone number, when you call that number you don’t get an assistant, or an appointment 30 days out, you get me.” “Does Baker give you his personal number?” The lady laughed as if it was the most insane question she had ever heard. We thanked her for her time and parted ways..
Later that day we stopped at a local business, a gas station, in the same area. Anthony and I noticed another individual with a Baker t-shirt coming out of the convenient store. So we called him over to start a dialogue. When Anthony called him over his exact words were “I’m on the clock, I’m not allowed to stop and talk”, he continued to walk away. Anthony caught up to him and told him who he was, and that he is also running for mayor. He then finally stopped for a moment. He said “I can’t really talk, the Baker people told me I better be working or I’m gone”. We were pretty shocked to hear this. We spoke to him for another few minutes. I asked him what all he is doing for the Baker campaign. He told us “they just got me passing out fliers in this neighborhood, trying to bring in the black vote.” We asked him one final question since he was concerned about being in trouble for simply talking to us, and that was if he was voting for Baker. His response was no…
These encounters really showed Anthony and I that Baker is NOT for the people of Saint Petersburg, if he was he would be going door to door to connect with the people and hear their concerns. Instead he feels he can just buy votes and supporters using the half of a million dollars he got from big cooperations and lobbyist.
So the real question is how much of Rick Baker’s support is real and how much is forced and fake?
Anthony Cates for Mayor
Anthony Cates III is a man of the people, who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get to work. Going door to door in the 90 degree heat to let the people know they have a candidate that has their back.
This is the biggest election in Saint Petersburg history. We can continue to go down this path doing the same thing year in year out with these career politician. Or we can make a change, change for better schools, economic growth, affordable housing and more.