Former sheriff Jim Coats endorses Kriseman
Mayor Rick Kriseman picked up a Republican endorsement Tuesday in his bid for reelection: former Pinellas County sheriff Jim Coats.
Kriseman, a Democrat, has been locked in a tough fight with former mayor Rick Baker. Coats was sheriff between 2004 and 2011 when he retired.
Baker, a Republican, was mayor during much of Coats' tenure as sheriff.
In a news release, Coats praised the mayor's handling of the police department and his "remarkable character."
Kriseman cited Coats' praise of St. Petersburg's police department as proof that the city is on the right track.
"And is yet another reason why Tony Holloway's future as chief is secure as long as I am mayor," Kriseman said in the release.
Kriseman has said hiring Holloway was his best decision as mayor. Baker has said he likes Holloway, but won't make any personnel decisions until after he is elected.
The primary is Aug. 29.
Full release below:
Law Enforcement Community's Support for Mayor Kriseman Grows with Jim Coats' Endorsement
Longtime Republican Sheriff of Pinellas County, Jim Coats, has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman for a second term
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Aug 8, 2017) -- Jim Coats, the Republican Sheriff of Pinellas County from 2004 to 2011, has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman for re-election.
"I am proud to endorse Mayor Rick Kriseman’s candidacy for Mayor of St. Petersburg. I had the privilege of working with the mayor during his time in the Florida Legislature and always found him to be accessible, thoughtful and open-minded. I can attest he is an outstanding public servant with remarkable character. I’ve been impressed by the improvements the mayor has made in the police department including re-branding the department, empowering his police chief and command staff, and making the agency attractive to new employee applicants. A community’s public safety is a quality of life issue which ranks at the top of most citizens' priorities. The residents of St. Petersburg will be best served under Mayor Kriseman’s leadership for another term." Sheriff Jim Coats said.
Former Sheriff Coats, who served during the majority of former Mayor Rick Baker's two terms, joins the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association in endorsing Mayor Kriseman for re-election.
"I have tremendous admiration for Sheriff Coats and his four decades of service to Pinellas County and our community. He always put people and public safety ahead of politics, which helped to make him one of our state's most respected law enforcement leaders. His praise for our police department is more proof that we are on the right track, and is yet another reason why Tony Holloway's future as chief is secure for as long as I am mayor." said Mayor Rick Kriseman.