It's official. 

  • Former St. Pete mayor Rick Baker is running for the office again
  • Baker served from 2001-2010
  • He will run against incumbent 

Former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker is seeking a return to office.

Baker, 60, made the announcement Tuesday morning on the steps of St. Pete's City Hall. 

"I think a lot of people wonder who's running the city sometimes," Baker said, addressing a gathered crowd that included former mayor Bill Foster and ex-councilmembers Wengay Newton and Leslie Curran.

"We have I think the best city in America that we're building here," he said. "But you can't keep making major mistakes and keep spending money like it's out of control and expect to be able to continue that path, the sewer system, the pier, the over-budgeting, the expenditures, really, without respect for other people's money. I just felt the need to come back."

Baker filed paperwork Monday to run for the post. 

He previously served two terms as mayor. First elected in 2001, he was re-elected in November 2005 with more than 70 percent of the vote. He served until 2010.

"One of the first things we have to do is fix the self-inflicted wounds of the past few years," Baker said. "But we can do that. We will put it together and get it right. Then we need to turn our focus onto the future."

He will be running against Rick Kriseman, who took office in 2014. 

Kriseman's campaign manager Jacob Smith said Tuesday afternoon that Baker's candidacy is a throwback to the past.  

"Past mayors and past council members stood with Rick Baker to remember a different St. Petersburg," Smith said. "Mayor Kriseman has tackled the big challenges of the past to move St. Pete forward. Mayor Kriseman has made it clear that this campaign will be about the progress we've made and the future of our city." 

The election is this fall.