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From left: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, Congressman Charlie Crist, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway during a meeting earlier this year to discuss the car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]

Charlie Crist asking local youth for advice on how to stop deadly car theft epidemic

ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist is meeting with local children Wednesday night to get their thoughts on how to stop the deadly juvenile auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County. "We must come together to find a way to stop this deadly trend before more lives are lost," Crist said in a statement ahead o …

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Jeb Bush on the 'most ridiculous example of political correctness in history'

Jeb Bush on ESPN's decision to pull commentator Robert Lee from a football broadcast at the University of Virginia....

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Rick Baker addresses supporters on Beach Drive Tuesday

Rick Baker lowers expectations before St. Pete mayoral primary

ST. PETERSBURG — Rick Baker officially lowered expectations in the mayoral race on Tuesday, saying his “battle for the future of the city” against Mayor Rick Kriseman might last until November.

Baker has consistently led in local polls and fundraising totals this summer. But at a fundraiders held a week before the Aug. 29 primary, he struck a somber tone in front of about 75 supporters at 400 Beach, a Beach Drive restaurant owned by supporter Steve Westphal.

There are six mayoral candidates on the ballot, Baker explained, and that will make it difficult for any candidate to get more than 50 percent of the vote. A candidate who exceeds 50 percent of the vote on Aug. 29 would win office outright.

“It think it’s going to tighten up,” Baker said, adding that his campaign is lining up fundraisers and making preparations for September and October. The general election is Nov. 7.

Baker spent much of his time Tuesday evening criticizing Kriseman for running a partisan campaign for an officially nonpartisan office.

Baker, a Republican, said he wants to unify the city. Kriseman, he said, wants to divide up residents into separate categories and only govern for those constituencies who support him....

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Bill to count computer coding as foreign language resurfaces in Florida Legislature

An effort to equate computer coding with foreign languages for high school students seeking credit for college admission has returned to Tallahassee for a fourth attempt....

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