Kathleen Peters, Red Tide & Dirty Campaigning

She’s really showing her true colors.

On 10/25/18 an associate of Kathleen Peters came forward, in front of other witnesses, and told me about how Kathleen was not only aware of the negative hit pieces that the Tampa Bay Times was planning to write about me but she understood TBT’s malicious intent in writing them.

Before the first hit pice was done about me she told this person, with a smile, that he should wait to see what the TBT prints because it would not only damage my campaign but my career and “I would never be able to work in Pinellas County again.”  This is what Kathleen Peters said about me as I was getting back on my feet after a two-year battle with stage-three breast cancer.

Yes, I decided to undertake this run for office immediately after a cancer battle because I am not sure whether God or my health will permit me the opportunity to do so in the future.  Cancer has taught me to not take time for granted.

Not only does Kathleen Peters’ statement speak volumes about her character, it also helps to establish a case for malice, which is necessary for a public figure to win a libel suit.  Thank you for revealing your true self, Kathleen.

She has since paid for a Google Ad Words campaign against me called TheRealAmyKedron, which features these untrue attack pieces.

During the primary for her race I invited Kathleen Peters out for lunch as a gesture of good will.  During it we promised each other that we would not run negative campaigns and we would stick only to the issues.  I have kept my promise.

But when a candidate fights dirty they are really hiding from the issues voters care about and our community has been grappling with a Red Tide that has been supercharged by environmental deregulation with disastrous consequences.

This is me fielding questions about Red Tide and environmental policy for Pinellas County at the Tidal Town Hall.  Kathleen was supposed to be here.

After the primary others stepped forward to tell me how Kathleen used other malicious lies about me to cancel all of her public forums/debates with me including ones where we would have the opportunity to discuss the impact of Red Tide on our environment and economy. Those following my campaign know I have gone to great lengths to address the Red Tide crisis by hosting town halls, drafting policy recommendations and circulating petitions.

Reports are now surfacing about fishermen who are dying as a result of the economic damage this pollution-fueled Red Tide has caused.  Pollution that was deregulated during Kathleen’s time in office.  Kathleen continued to fundraise during this disaster.  I found this out by mistake when TBT’s Mark Puente interviewed me and tried to use her fundraising record to suggest that I could not compete with her:

Puente asked, “Peters raised $41,000 in the last reporting period. You raised $300. How will you overcome a well-funded opponent? 

I answered, “Candidates should be leaders first, not piggy-banks. As soon as Red Tide / Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) impacted my district, I stopped fundraising to help. I held a town hall meeting, interviewed those impacted and worked with experts to draft policies to address the short and long-term impact of toxic algae on public health and the local economy.”  

My comment above and indeed most of this interview never saw the light of day.  I assumed as such and posted my full interview on my blog to safeguard myself.   After doing so, Kathleen announced on television that she was suspending her campaign to address Hurricane Michael relief, and only then did the Tampa Bay Times finally publish their interview with me announcing how Kathleen had suspended her campaign to help with Hurricane recovery.  This is “objective” Tampa Bay political journalism.

In an open letter, I called on Kathleen Peters to donate the funds she raised during the crisis to Red Tide and Hurricane Michael relief.  She never replied and instead continued sending out fundraising appeals for her campaign.  Here’s her 10/25/18 fundraising appeal.

Yesterday Kathleen Peters posted an old ad of her paddle-boarding in Pinellas waters discussing how she would protect them.  In 2016 she voted for a measure to force fracking on areas like Pinellas County.   Pinellas had passed an ordinance banning fracking because it could potentially ruin Florida’s water and economy.  Kathleen could not shoot this same ad today because our County still has some of the most toxic Red Tide in the state.  Small businesses, workers and our marine life are still struggling.

And it’s time to turn the tide.




Since publishing this piece other people have come forward about the unprofessional, untrue and simply tasteless things Kathleen Peters has said about me.  They said they would be happy to speak on record about it.  Personally I feel Kathleen should apologize for crossing a serious ethical line and possibly reconsider public service.  This simply is not the way leaders should conduct themselves.

Read about the origins of the unethical coverage of Amy’s campaign by the Tampa Bay Times here.


Media Ethics and Amy's Campaign