It might be tough to hit campaign trail

By Times Staff Writer
Published September 29, 2007

Jose N. Vazquez apparently has no intention of letting his legal troubles get in the way of his desire to hold public office.

Vazquez last month filed to run for the District 58 seat held by Florida Rep. Michael Scionti, D-Tampa.

The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office Web site lists no phone number for Vazquez, but it does list an inmate number and the address of Bay Correctional Facility in Panama City.

Vazquez, a Democrat, began his incarceration for a felony conviction of driving with a revoked license in May. He's slated for release in March 2009, but with gain time and other credits could still get out in time for the November 2008 election.

Vazquez also filed to run for the seat in 2006, and applied to fill Tampa City Council seats left vacant last year when Rose Ferlita and Kevin White left their posts to fill positions on the Hillsborough County Commission.

Planning (way) ahead to replace Miranda

Charlie Miranda has barely warmed the City Council seat he won in March, and someone already is thinking about filling it when he steps down.

Democratic political consultant Janet Cruz-Rifkin said she'd like to run for the seat that represents West Tampa when Miranda steps down.

"Someday I'd like to be a City Council woman," said Cruz-Rifkin. "But it's a very long way away."

Miranda said he doesn't know yet if he'll seek re-election in 2011, but judged Cruz-Rifkin to be a worthy successor.

"She's level-headed, she's very astute and she knows the issues." he said.

A Clinton on Mount Rushmore?

The Democratic Women's Club of Florida is holding its annual convention in Tampa this weekend. Among the items up for auction tonight: A Bill Clinton action figure and a cartoon drawing of Hillary Clinton's profile being carved into Mount Rushmore.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio was the keynote speaker at a luncheon Friday.

She spoke about the research she did on civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer while working on a master's degree in history at the University of South Florida. Hamer in the 1960s pushed for black voter registration and fought to get blacks included among Mississippi's delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

"She lost her home and she lost her livelihood, but she found her voice," Iorio said.

Iorio also shared a few anecdotes about motherhood, noting that her 19-year-old daughter had called from college the night before, eager to talk about The Communist Manifesto.

Iorio said she told her daughter if she's worried about communism, "Keep shopping."