Baker's Staff Exodus - and the Return of Peter
The St. Pete Times noted that St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is seeing his staff leave early for greener pastures. It is normal for staff to leave towards the end of an elected official's tenure, but to leave with just over two years remaining is a little unusual.
Obviousoly, Herb Polson is running for the city council, but the early loss of other staffers is potentially telling.
Baker is a moderate Republican who has twice won election in a Democratic city. Everyone agreed that he was a rising star in the GOP. But where will he go now?
No word that he is laying the groundwork for a run for the legislature or county office.
There was once talk that he could run for statewide office, but in 2010 (the first election after he leaves office), the only statewide elections are for offices either currently held by Republicans or for CFO - which would require him to face popular Tampa Democrat, Alex Sink.
The rumors that he would run to succeed Congressman Bill Young have all but disappeared - even as rumors that impending retirement will leave that seat open.
So, perhaps these staffers see what seemed unimaginable only a few years ago - that our relatively young, well-respected, and up-and-coming mayor has reached the end of the line?
Also, we are pleased to announce that Peter Schorsch has returned.
You may remember Peter as the former Republican political consultant who switched parties after falling out with the head of the Mallard Group, the leading GOP consulting shop in the bay area.
You may also remember his arrest for kiting checks and allegedly misusing/misappropriating his clients' money.
Well, we were all pleased to see him re-emerge on this comment thread on the Buzz.
If we are, in fact, to lose Baker, perhaps Peter can keep us busy with water cooler topics.