Welch and Blackmon will face off in November runoff for St. Pete mayor
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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