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Joyner wins a ticket to Tallahassee


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2000

TAMPA -- Civil rights protester while a student at Florida A&M University. FAMU law school graduate. The first black female attorney in Tampa history.

Arthenia Joyner's resume fills six pages.

And now she has a new line to add: member, state House of Representatives, District 59.

Joyner, 57, overwhelmed Frank Reddick on Tuesday as voters said her connections and clout are just what they need in their next state representative.

With no Republican to go against in November, Joyner's victory means she will replace Les Miller in Tallahassee. Miller represented the district since 1992.

"I'm exhilarated, and I feel grateful to the public for doing what they do best -- that's choose their leaders," Joyner said as she joined supporters at Latam at the Centro restaurant on Nebraska Avenue.

Though she and Reddick are both Democrats, Joyner garnered the support of the city's Democratic powerbrokers.

A founding partner of the law firm of Stewart, Joyner and Jordan-Holmes, Joyner told voters her legal training and the relationships she has developed would help her improve conditions in one of the poorest districts in the state.

Reddick, president and chief executive officer of the Sickle Cell Association of Hillsborough County, tried to convince voters that Joyner had lost touch with the community.

He also tried to remind voters of the ethical morass Joyner found herself in when she spent more than $25,000 in public money on first-class trips during her tenure on the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.

Reddick reminded voters about the reprimand Joyner's travel drew from the late Gov. Lawton Chiles.

The strategy didn't work.

"She was able in the last five days to put on a tremendous radio blitz against my candidacy and I did not have the resources to respond," Reddick said.

"I congratulate her on her victory and I have no intention of running for public office again in this city."

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