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Political Junkie

They're game to be donors

By Times Staff
Published February 9, 2007


One candidate for the Tampa City Council has some major muscle behind him - literally.

Donors to the campaign of Frank Margarella, who is running for north Tampa's District 7 seat, include Dave Andreychuk, who captained the Tampa Bay Lightning during its Stanley Cup run. Andreychuk is a fellow Hunter's Green resident and a partner with Margarella in starting Andreychuk's Grill in Channelside.

Shelton Quarles, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker, gave Margarella $250. The two know each other through a mutual golfing friend, Margarella said.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Victor Crist and Hillsborough NAACP chairman Curtis Stokes last week were hosts of a fundraiser for Joe Caetano, one of Margarella's opponents. The event brought in $2,402. Like Caetano, Crist and Stokes are Tampa Palms residents. Guests included Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner.

Candidates dig deep

Both candidates in the District 6 City Council race which covers West Tampa have loaned huge amounts of money to their campaigns.

Of the $30,300 Charlie Miranda has raised since announcing, $20,000 came from his pocket.

Lisa Tamargo's contributions so far total $9,667.80. Just more than $7,000 of that is her money.

Tamargo is hoping to cash in on a different kind of contribution: an endorsement by Mary Alvarez, the City Council member she and Miranda are hoping to replace.

"I think she's got fresh ideas and she'll be a fresh face on the council," Alvarez said. "I think Lisa has a better vision and insight than Charlie."

Miranda, a former council member, has been endorsed by Rose Ferlita, a former council member who now sits on the Hillsborough County Commission.

"Charlie helped me get into the political community," said Ferlita, who has contributed $500 to his campaign. "This had nothing to do with this other lady, and I know nothing about her. Charlie is a friend."

ABLE endorses Lewis

The Tampa Bay Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers has endorsed mayoral candidate Marion Serious Lewis.

The 75-member group is comprised of Tampa Police Department law enforcement officers and civilians. ABLE was organized in 1982 to enhance the recruitment, hiring, retention and promotion of black officers in the Tampa Bay area.

District 4 City Council candidate Julie Brown has received endorsements from two public safety groups and the Tampa Bay Builders Association.

The Tampa Firefighters Local 754 and West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association gave Brown their backing. The PBA represents Tampa Police Officers, Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies as well as agencies in Polk and Pasco counties.

The city election is March 6. Early voting starts Feb. 19.

A race for chief judge

You can usually count on two things for a chief judge race in Hillsborough County: No opposition and a quiet, in-house campaign.

Not this time. Two judges have thrown their names in the mix, and a county commissioner weighed in Thursday.

A handful of judges got a call from County Commissioner Jim Norman, who said he just wanted to tell them what a "first class" guy he thinks current Chief Judge Manuel Menendez is.

Norman said the endorsement was unsolicited by Menendez, who faces opposition from Circuit Judge Susan Sexton. The county's 62 judges will vote by secret ballot Feb. 14.

"We've got a lot of big criminal justice issues," Norman said. "I value his opinion. It means a lot to me that I would have that continued dialogue."

[Last modified February 9, 2007, 06:18:25]

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