St. Petersburg Mayoral Primary: At the Kathleen Ford party

I’m attempting to hit every candidate’s election night event for insight, great political theater and free food. My first: Kathleen Ford.

Where: Red Mesa Cantina

Mood: Upbeat and relaxed, like a cocktail party (well, except for the guy on the right). About 25 Ford supporters sip large margaritas and chat. Although reserved, Kathleen Ford is sharing the latest mail-in ballot votes that put her at 27 percent and toe-to-toe with Bill Foster. “It’s still too early,” she says.

Who’s Who: Ford’s husband, some friends, some Bay News 9 reporters, a group of St. Petersburg firefighter union members and representatives from the Service Employees International Union. “With the financial shape that the city is in and shared across the this state … we think that we will be able to work well with Kathleen Ford,” says Van Church, communications director for SEIU’s Florida Public Service Union.

Free Food Factor: None. Only Cantina Red Mesa’s menu and full bar.

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