ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Just days before St. Pete voters head to the polls, Mayor Rick Kriseman is celebrating a huge endorsement from former President Obama. It's only the second time he's ever endorsed a mayoral candidate.
In a statement he said in part:
"Rick was a great ally on the priorities of my administration… I strongly endorse Rick Kriseman as the only choice for continued progress for St. Petersburg."
"I think our values align really looking out for middle and working class so I'm really humbled to have his support," said Mayor Kriseman.
The endorsement comes at a key time for the mayor. The latest polls show him trailing by seven points to former mayor Rick Baker, 40 to 47, according to stpetepolls.org.
In the six-man race, if no one reaches 50 percent plus one, the two with the most votes will head for a run-off.
"St. Petersburg wants to continue to move forward and I think Tuesday night will reflect that," said the Mayor.
Former Mayor Rick Baker countered the endorsement saying in part:
"St. Petersburg voters are focused on local issues impacting their lives." He pointed out the ongoing sewer saga and what he calls a "Kriseman spending binge."
Fringe candidate Jesse Nevel held a press conference Friday, also railing against the former President's endorsement.
"Obama stepping into the St Pete's mayor's race so close to the election date is the last minute act of sheer desperation on the part of a failing pathetic Kriseman campaign," Nevel said.
Fox 13's Political Editor Craig Patrick says the president's endorsement won't move mountains, but in such a heavily Democratic city like St. Pete, It helps.
"It won't carry a great deal of weight but it could move the needle just a little bit and just a little bit could mean a whole lot for Mayor Kriseman," Patrick said.
The vote is Tuesday, August 28.