District 56: Traviesa with big lead over write-in rival

By Times Staff Writer
Published November 3, 2004

TAMPA - Political newcomer Anthony "Trey" Traviesa appeared headed for an easy victory over write-in candidate Cornelius "Neil" Cosentino for the State House District 56 seat.

Early returns had Traviesa with 97 percent of the vote, with 3 percent for Cosentino.

Traviesa, a former banker and venture capitalist who lives in south Tampa, hinged his campaign on using his business experience to make government run more efficiently. He holds a master's degree in business administration from University of Texas at Austin.

He'll represent a district that takes in parts of South Tampa, the port, suburban Brandon and quickly disappearing rural areas around FishHawk Ranch.

Traviesa, 34, defeated five opponents in the Republican primary election, including two with substantial political experience. Cosentino filed to run for office at the last minute, saying he didn't want the Republican candidate to go unchallenged in the general election.

Traviesa is a fourth-generation Floridian whose parents are Democrats. His great-grandmother worked in a cigar factory in Ybor City.