ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — St. Petersburg Mayor-elect Ken Welch was sworn in virtually Thursday as the city’s 54th, and first African American mayor. After he was sworn in, Welch gave a virtual address to the community.
“It is my distinct honor to address you today, although under unique circumstances, as the 54th mayor of St. Petersburg,” Mayor Welch said. “This is a significant moment for many reasons. It represents the breaking of another barrier.”
Welch’s mayoral installation was held virtually after he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. He announced his COVID status on Jan. 3, causing the original inauguration plans to be canceled.
“I want to thank everyone who has reached out with words of support,” Welch said. “I am recovering and my symptoms remain mild.”
After taking office, Welch will be replacing outgoing St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, who was sworn in as mayor in 2014.
You see the mayor’s full address in the player above.