This week marks the first time the candidates in St. Petersburg's District 4 race have engaged in a formal debate prior to their primary election in late August. While Darden Rice, David McKalip and Carolyn Fries all have some sort of following in the city, newcomer Richard Eldridge is not well known.
The 51-year-old former Marine entered the contest late last month, and admitted he never met his primary opponents until Monday when engaging in two different candidate forums.
He said his performance on Monday night was particularly spotty, and that he was fatigued after working almost non-stop during the long Fourth of July weekend (he's a cab driver who usually sleeps during the day and works at night). "I know I'll do better the next time," he said, adding that some subjects — like sewage — were not on his radar prior the League of Women Voters forum.
"Sewage is not a big issue for me," he said.
Eldridge was born in Monticello, Ind. Before he settled down in St. Pete he also lived in New York, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and then after joining the Marines, Hawaii, Virginia and California. He arrived in Tampa in 1994 and St. Petersburg in 1996.