Kenneth T. Welch was sworn in as the 54th mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida in January 2022.
Growing up in the Gas Plant area of St. Petersburg, Mayor Welch 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. Welch saw firsthand 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 USF St. Petersburg and MBA from Florida A&M University, Mayor Welch 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, Welch 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. Welch 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 resident of St. Petersburg, Mayor Welch and his wife, Donna, have two daughters.