Darden Rice announces her candidacy for St. Pete City Council's District 4 seat

Rice unsuccessfully ran for public office in the past, losing for City Council in 2005 and County Commission in 2008.

She is the Immediate-Past President of the St. Pete League of Women Voters, she chairs the legislative committee of the PSTA transit board — of which she is an appointed commissioner — and she works in communications for leading health care advocacy organizations. Rice also worked for the Sierra Club back in the aughts.

No doubt McKalip will paint her as too liberal, but Rice said she is a "practical idealist to the core."

"I believe in the time-honored values of engagement, courage, accountability, equity, and public service as part of meaningful civic leadership. In fact, we need those values in public service today more than ever," she said.

Rice doesn't support red light cameras, and she wants the public to vote on what to do with the St. Pete Pier. You can read more about her policy positions by visiting her website.

Rice does have a political bloodline. Her uncle is Everett Rice, a former Pinellas County sheriff and state legislator who lost his bid to win back the sheriff's office against incumbent Bob Gualtieri.

Today, Darden Rice — an activist and civic leader in St. Petersburg for more than a decade — announced that this fall she will run for City Council in St. Pete's District 4 seat. Her candidacy sets up a potential ideological blockbuster clash with Tea Party activist Dr. David McKalip; McKalip already announced his candidacy for the seat that has been held by Leslie Curran, who is term-limited this fall.

In a statement, Rice said, "I am running because I believe in making St. Pete Strong. I have a clear vision for the future of our city. It is based on three foundations for the health of the community. It includes ensuring strong businesses and jobs; healthy and vital communities and neighborhoods; and effective city services."

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