Mitch Perry Report 7.21.14: Kriseman's big moment

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Speculation about who will be the next police chief in St. Petersburg spiked over the weekend after it was reported that all four candidates that had been paraded before the public last month have been eliminated from consideration by Mayor Rick Kriseman.

The mayor is already receiving some criticism from going outside of the process he created, and that's something he has to own up to. But if he's encountered a candidate who didn't initially apply but fits his criteria, well, that's the power of being mayor. Whether it's current Clearwater Chief Tony Holloway (as reported by the Times this morning) or someone else, we look forward to hearing why the new choice was better than the four finalists.

But whatever you think, the man obviously didn't crater to pressure and pick the popular local favorite, Assistant Chief Melanie Bevan.

Pardon the crude sports metaphor, but this is sort of like the NFL draft, where the top selection will create a lot of stories in the days to come. The wisdom of the choice can't really be felt immediately, but only when the new chief has to deal with a crisis in the city or within his own ranks. And no doubt that's what has to be part of Kriseman's calculation about why the three men and one woman he interviewed for the position weren't the best fit.

In other news...

There was an anti-immigration/refugee protest in Tampa on Saturday. About 30 protesters, unhappy with what's going on with the border, took time out of their weekends to let motorists on I-4 know about it.

There is a wing of the Florida Democratic Party that still hasn't completely warmed up to Charlie Crist as the party's standard-bearer this year, but give them a little more time — like until after August 26, when the Republican-turned-Democrat will likely become their last best hope of stopping another four years of Rick Scott's reign in Florida. Last week we spoke with one member of that group, former Tampa Congressman Jim Davis, for his take on Crist.

And CL contributor Daina Stanley has a report on a local activist group in Tampa trying to rally support to change state law re drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants. 

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