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Who is Anthony Cates and Why is He Running for Mayor of St. Petersburg?

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By GH Khan

Anthony Cates for Mayor Cropped 995415_292983784181058_1536351295_n

Anthony Lenard Cates, candidate for Mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Who is Anthony Lenardo Cates and why is he running for Mayor of St. Petersburg?

Cates, age 23, is a newcomer to St. Petersburg politics who is not known to have had any prior interest in the subject.  In the balkanized demographics and byzantine politics of the great City of St. Petersburg, some see the Cates campaign as part of the effort of supporters of the incumbent mayor to split the opposition among the city’s African-American voters, who tend to vote in a block and have a history of supporting the winner in mayoral races.  There currently are 5 candidates in the race, including the incumbent Bill Foster, Rick Kriseman, Kathleen Ford, Paul Congemi, and Cates, making it unlikely that any candidate will get the required 50% plus one vote to take all in the August 27th primary election.  This, the speculators allege, provides an incentive for the incumbent campaign to encourage vote-splitting that prevents the strongest challenger, Ford, from surviving the primary.  No one is accusing His Honor or any of his supporters of doing anything illegal, and many brush off such speculation as nothing more than election-time paranoia.  At the same time, no one in the neighborhood is saying that Cates is running because this is America and everyone deserves a shot at becoming mayor.

Still, there are a few odd things that do bear mentioning.

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