Should Darden Rice Resign to Run? Friday Funnies and Commentary by Gary West.

Darden Rice stepping stones to powerBy Gary West, St. Petersburg.

Does the City of St. Petersburg have a “Resign To Run” law? If not, why not? Simply stated, if you’re a public official holding an elected office and you want to run for another public office then you must first resign your present elected position.

An recent article in the paper states that council person Darden Rice is prepared to seek the District 13 seat now occupied by David Jolly but has received assurances from the city attorney that, if her attempt fails, she would retain her city council seat. This begs the question “Why are elected officials privileged to have it both ways?” Someone explain why is it considered good form to run for another political office and, if unsuccessful, retain your present elected job. The word “fairness” seems to be bandied about lately. I see nothing “fair” about the practice of elected officials providing their own political safety net.

Considering the job performance of this particular candidate I have to wonder what political skills and experience she brings to any elected office. Case in point, the City of St. Petersburg yet to be implemented curbside recycling program; a program ramrodded by Rice featuring no meaningful research, disinformation to the public, gross waste of public money and virtually no input form the citizenry.  This is the result of electing a person that has no meaningful experience in the world of private employment and whose skill-set consists of seeking public office.  Now, after only a few unsuccessful and depressing months in St. Petersburg City Council she is plotting the next political leap but not until assuring herself a soft rebound if her plans fail.

The fastest phrase out of a candidates mouth appears to be “I’m running for this office so I can humbly serve you, the esteemed and honored citizen”…….. when the truth seems to be “until another opportunity arises to climb the political ladder, in which case See Ya.” Voters elect candidates under the assumption the person elected will serve their full term thus filling an implied promise. Anything else is, at best, disingenuous and, at worse, an opportunistic, premeditated scam on the voting public.

The public servant thinks “what can I do for the voter”. The politician schemes “what can I do to the voter”. A Resign to Run law that’s enforced is doing something for the voter. If politicians ever wonder why the public thinks so little of them, this is a perfect example of political office begetting entitlement and privilege. So how about a Resign to Run law for St. Petersburg, effective now


4 Replies:

  1. Keir Gallite

    Politicians are the landed gentry of our time. Of, by and for the lawyers should be our motto. Politicians and lawyers have the same DNA. Resign to run would also prevent special elections and the associated costs.

    1. Sun Beam Times Post author

      From Largo City Commission Member Curtis Holmes.

      It’s a State law with an exception, i.e. when former Largo Mayor Gerard decided to run for the BOCC she had to submit a letter of resignation once she qualified for the ballot but the resignation was not effective until the day after the election, win or lose, but the rule exception is when an office holder is seeking a federal office, i.e. Ms. Rice v Jolly, she’s not required to resign. In some states, e.g. Wisconsin or Arizona you don’t need to resign and can actually run for two offices simultaneously, see Paul Ryan (R-WI) when he was Romney’s VP or John McCain seeking POTUS, both kept their respective seats.

  2. William Heyen

    We need her help in fixing recycling in the traditional neighborhoods where it should be picked up in the alley, not curbside. My concern is how much time will seeking a new office take away from that. Please Ms Rice, help as you said you will, as I know you will, rather than leaving us holding the “recycled plastic” bag.

    1. Sun Beam Times Post author

      She can not “Fix” what is unfixable. The entire program will only improve with millions more in spending and it will still be a fiasco. That “fix” will be a further “destruction” because she will break the promise to have this done at low cost and burden to the taxpayers.

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