Kathleen Beckman, a candidate for Clearwater mayor, has received a wave of support from both current and former elected officials in the Tampa Bay area. These endorsements come from individuals across party lines, showcasing Beckman’s ability to work collaboratively with individuals of varying political affiliations.
Several notable figures have endorsed the initiative, including Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub, Indian Rocks Beach Mayor Cookie Kennedy, Redington Shores Mayor Mary Beth Henderson, and former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
In September, Clearwater City Council member Beckman filed to run for the position of Interim Mayor, which was vacated by former Mayor Frank Hibbard, leading to the appointment of Brian Aungst Sr. as interim mayor earlier this year.
Kriseman, a former Mayor himself, recognizes the importance of a lively community that values and uplifts small businesses. He also acknowledges the significant contribution of neighborhoods in enhancing the quality of life in a city. Kathleen’s dedication to these causes, in addition to her efforts towards promoting transparency and sustainability, has won Kriseman’s endorsement for her candidacy as Mayor of Clearwater.
Bruce Rector, who recently declared his candidacy for Mayor, has already emerged as one of the strong contenders against Beckman. Notably, prominent Republicans, including Aungst and Hibbard, have extended their support to Rector.
In 2020, City Council elected her as a member for the first time.
Kennedy, who is running for Pinellas County Commission, emphasized the importance of Kathleen’s leadership and support for small businesses in ensuring job creation and a thriving community. He highlighted her extensive experience and leadership locally and regionally, making her the clear choice for the position of Mayor of Clearwater.
Beckman highlighted her efforts in her campaign announcement, emphasizing her dedication to reducing city and resident expenses, improving transportation, ensuring safety, promoting sustainability, increasing access to housing, and enhancing transparency and accountability in city operations. She asserted that her priority is always to prioritize the concerns of ordinary Clearwater residents.
According to Henderson, Kathleen has been an advocate for home rule not only in Clearwater but also in the region. Being the Vice-President of the Pinellas League of Cities and representing Clearwater on the Big C Barrier Island Government Council, she has demonstrated remarkable leadership and collaboration skills. Henderson admires her work ethic and extends his support for her candidacy as the next Mayor of Clearwater.
Ayoub emphasized the need for strong leadership and a clear vision for the future in order to effectively collaborate on complex issues such as public safety, housing, and transportation. He expressed his support for Kathleen Beckman as the ideal candidate for Clearwater Mayor, and expressed confidence that she would deliver positive results for the city and Pinellas as a whole. Ayoub recognized that cities like Clearwater are vital economic centers for the region, and believes that elected officials like Beckman will help establish a strong foundation for the future.
Beckman moved to Clearwater from Michigan and raised her family in northern Illinois where she worked as a public high school English and journalism teacher. Her family includes her children Joshua, Sarah, and Michael, and her husband Bryan. In 2016, they all relocated to Clearwater.
As a Guardian ad Litem for Pinellas County Courts, Beckman plays a crucial role in advocating for children who have suffered abuse or neglect and have been taken away from their homes. She serves as their voice, ensuring their needs are met and their rights are protected.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the endorsements of these esteemed leaders from our community. Their support is a clear indication that our campaign is resonating with a wide range of individuals who believe in our vision for Clearwater’s future. I appreciate the trust and faith they have placed in me. Together, we will work tirelessly to build a stronger, more connected Clearwater,” Beckman said of the endorsements.