Darden will be the first LGBTQ Mayor of St. Petersburg!
Councilmember Darden Rice was the first openly gay person to run for office in Pinellas County, Florida. First elected to St. Petersburg City Council 2013, Darden was re-elected in 2017 with over 72% of the vote. She is the current Chair of Forward Pinellas, the county’s land use and transportation planning agency, and an executive member of the Board of Directors for Tampa Bay Water, the regional water supply utility.
Darden previously served as the president of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and as chair of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, as well as the Chair of City Council. Before being elected to City Council, Darden was the Florida Director of Healthy Gulf, an anti-pollution nonprofit focused on protecting our coastal waters, a Senior Associate with Sierra Club Florida, and the Health Care Policy Director for Progress Florida, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting progressive values throughout the state.
Councilmember Rice created the Wage Theft Prevention ordinance, was the driving force behind universal curbside recycling, and founded the council committee on the environment which spearheaded the city’s most ambitious and comprehensive approach to measurable environmental progress. She has been a champion for increasing affordable housing, creating stronger neighborhoods, improving transportation, historic preservation, and supporting our local small businesses.
Darden lives in St. Petersburg with her wife Eve.