Kenneth T. Welch was sworn in as the 54th mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida on January 6, 2022.
Growing up in the Gas Plant area, Ken worked summers and after school on his grandfather’s woodyard that sat on property later displaced by the interstate. His father was a city council member who helped lay the foundation for St. Petersburg’s resurgence. Ken saw first-hand the uprooting of hundreds of businesses, homes and churches for what eventually became Tropicana Field. He also saw the unfulfilled promises of jobs and economic development in return for that sacrifice.
After receiving his BA from USFSP and MBA from Florida A&M, Ken returned to St. Petersburg as an accountant for Florida Power Corporation. He also served as Technology Manager for his father’s small accounting firm. After years of community service, Ken became the first Commissioner elected to represent County Commission District 7 in St. Petersburg, only the second African American commissioner in the history of Pinellas County. Ken proudly served on the County Commission for 20 years, where he brought a focus to the issues of economic development, transportation, equity, housing, criminal justice reform and fighting poverty.
A third generation St. Pete resident, Ken lives in St. Petersburg today with his wife of 30 years, Donna, and their two daughters.