Aug 25, 2021 - Politics
Welch and Blackmon will face off in November runoff for St. Pete mayor
Ken Welch (left) and Mayor Rick Kriseman (right) at Welch's election night party. Photo: Selene San Felice/Axios

Ken Welch declared victory in the St. Pete mayoral race less than 10 minutes after election results started coming in.

  • Welch was right. The frontrunner ended last night's primary election with 39% of the vote. But he didn't crack the 50% needed to avoid a November runoff.
  • Robert Blackmon secured his place alongside Welch in the runoff with 28% of the vote.
  • Darden Rice lost out on the chance to be the city's first openly gay mayor with 16% of the vote.

What they're saying: Blackmon's party at the top floor of The Urban Stillhouse was packed. He was mobbed with so many people wanting to shake his hand and get a picture that his team had to sequester him in a private room.

  • "Tonight's results show the changing mindset of the people of St. Petersburg," Blackmon told Axios. "It's time for the tides to turn."
  • At Painting with a Twist on Central Avenue, Welch shook hands with Mayor Rick Kriseman after his victory speech. Kriseman pointed to himself and then Welch, saying, "current and future."

What's next: Blackmon and Welch have remained positive about each other so far. We'll see how things go as November gets closer.

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