Barnwell disqualified from St. Pete mayor's race
The mayor's race is down to six candidates. Or is it?
It wouldn't be a St. Petersburg mayoral race story without a twist, would it? The racucous and increasingly testy race between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker will have another chapter tonight at a candidate forum where the other minor candidates will be invovled.
Uhuru-affiliated Jesse Nevel has already tweeted that Baker and Kriseman are "white nationalists" and he and Uhuru protestors have greeted Kriseman with the chant "Filthy Water, Filthy Kriseman!" several times in apparent reference to the city's sewage crisis.
Theresa "Momma Tee" Lassiter has long been an outspoken and sharp tongued presence at City Council meetings.
Now, it appears novice candidate Ernisa Barnwell has an ax to grind.
Here is the tale without getting too deep into some pretty tall weeds.
Barnwell, 40, who was making her first run for office, bounced her $250 qualifying check. The City Clerk's office gave Barnwell two days to fix the situation before disqualifying her at 5 p.m. Friday.
"We gave her the opportunity to correct it and she didn't correct it," said City Clerk Chan Srinivasa Monday.
Barnwell disputes that account, saying she has retained an attorney and plans to take the city to court. She said she plans to attend tonight's canddate forum at the Hilton Bayfront.
Barnwell said the city owes her about $400 for hair-braiding courses that she has offered at city recreation centers. She said Srinivasa should have taken the qualifying fee out of those funds.
"It looks my chain is being jerked," Barnwell told the Times. As for her candidacy being terminated? "The jury is still out," she said.
Barnwell sent an email to the Tampa Bay Times on June 19 saying one of the reasons she decided to run for mayor was as a result of greivances against the city's Parks and Recreation department and its police department.
The remaining candidates are Paul Congemi and Anthony Cates III.