Kathy Castor Archives - Page 5 of 30 - SaintPetersBlog

Kathy Castor proposal to maintain ACA’s consumer friendly protections shot down in House vote

On Wednesday, the second day of the 115th Congress, House Republicans began the work of repealing and ultimately replacing the Affordable Care Act, much to the consternation of Democrats like Tampa Representative Kathy Castor.

Castor advocated for an amendment to a bill that was being debated that would maintain the consumer friendly provisions of the ACA, such as the cost saving provisions for Medicare prescription drugs, as well as the provision that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

“The Affordable Care Act, which Republicans say they want to repeal without a replacement in sight, provided very important consumer protections for all Americas, not just 20 million Americans who gained health insurance through the marketplace of healthcare.gov, ” Castor said on the House floor.

She said that the repeal of the ACA would impact the approximately 43 million people on Medicare, and the 155 million people who currently receive health care through their employer.

“If Republicans aren’t careful in their zeal to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they in essence will be asking  our parents and grandparents to pay more. A whole lot more,” she said.

Castor went on to say that the ACA had also been able to reduce the “donut hole” in Medicare coverage. That’s the coverage gap in one’s insurance plan that begins after after one has paid a certain amount for covered drugs.

“My amendment makes the point that Democrats are going to fight for our older neighbors to keep those savings intact, brought to you by the Affordable Care Act,” Castor said.

The Tampa Democrat was attempting to add the motion to a bill sponsored by California Republican Darrell Issa that would repeal in a single vote any rule finalized in the last 60 days of the Obama administration. But the House rejected a motion Castor to send the bill back to committee.

On Thursday, Florida Senator Bill Nelson filed his own amendment under a broader bill under debate that would prevent the Senate from considering any legislation that repeals ACA’s provisions aimed at closing the donut hole in Medicare coverage.

“Closing this gap in coverage, known as the donut hole, has helped seniors in Florida save nearly $1,000 a year,” Nelson said. “Why would you want to get rid of that? We should be looking for ways to lower – not increase – the cost of prescription drugs, especially for our seniors.”


Mitch Perry Report for 1.5.17 – Poll says voters want Dems like Bill Nelson to fight Donald Trump when necessary

We’ve heard from several Florida Democrats (such as Kathy Castor and Charlie Crist) that, when appropriate, they look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump once he takes office later this month.

The question for them and other Democrats concerned about their own poll numbers as well as what’s good for the country is where and when they decide to go along with Trump and, more likely, when do they oppose him.

On a conference call yesterday, the folks with the Center for American Progress provided the details about a new poll they conducted in 14 battleground states where Democrats like Bill Nelson will be running for re-election in ’18. The survey concluded that a majority of the public want Senate Democrats to serve as a check and balance on the new president and congressional Republicans even if it means blocking his initiatives “on many occasions.”

That could be a challenge for Nelson, who, on occasion, can be progressive, but also likes to maintain a centrist mien, especially when election time comes around.

Well, good luck to him on that one, because he’s being challenged right now by his supporters here in the Tampa Bay area. Yesterday, dozens came to call on him to, at the very least, call for a delay in the confirmation vote scheduled for next week for Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice for Attorney General.

One area where Nelson one might be surmise he’ll stick with his liberal colleagues is in acting as a bulwark to defend the Affordable Care Act.

“They want to repeal it and then try to hang it on us. Not gonna happen. It’s their responsibility, plain and simple,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said at a news conference.

Dems have been pushing the reality that if the Republicans have a legitimate vehicle to replace the ACA with, nobody really knows what it is. And no doubt, some in the GOP might be fearing the repercussions of taking away people’s care.

“Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases……like the 116% hike in Arizona,” Trump tweeted yesterday, adding, “Also, deductibles are so high that it is practically useless. Don’t let the Schumer clowns out of this web…massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight – be careful!”

Meanwhile, Schumer’s office said yesterday that the Democrats are targeting eight Trump Cabinet nominees for extra scrutiny, name checking Rex Tillerson, Betsy DeVos, Steven Mnuchin, Scott Pruitt, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Price, Andy Puzder and Wilbur Ross.

Schumer said he wants their full paperwork before hearings are scheduled, adding that only a few have turned it in while most haven’t. Schumer said he also wants their tax returns, particularly because some are billionaires and given the potential for conflicts of interest.

Those hearings begin next week.

In other news…

The race for the Florida Democratic Party gets crazier by the day. Yesterday we learned that 13 members of the Miami-County DEC filed a complaint with the FDP regarding the circumstances that have allowed Coconut Grove real estate developer and donor Stephen Bittel to be eligible for the party chair position. Earlier in the day, Tampa’s (or should we say Bradford’s) Alan Clendenin was shooting down a complaint filed against him regarding the circumstances that have allowed him to become eligible in the race.

The House of Representatives is poised to vote on condemning President Obama and the UN for that resolution last month castigating Israel for continuing to build settlements in the West Bank. The resolution was written by Polk County’s Dennis Ross.

And newly sworn-in Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren celebrated his victory on Tuesday night with friends and family in Tampa Heights.

Dennis Ross says he opposed original GOP vote to gut ethics office

Following the uproar Tuesday morning over a private vote by House Republicans to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, the GOP conference voted to restore rules that have been in existence for the past eight years.

However, the PR damage has been substantial.

A spokesperson for Polk County Republican Dennis Ross says the GOP Representative opposed Monday night’s vote to gut the OCE, created in 2008 after several members of Congress were convicted of crimes and sent to jail. The office has the power to conduct investigations of House members and employees who have been accused of violating laws, rules or congressional norms.

“Rep. Ross opposes the change to the rules. Conference is meeting now in a special session. I suspect it will be stripped,” emailed Jodi Shockey, Ross’s communications director, late Tuesday morning to FloridaPolitics. As she predicted, the House Republicans reversed their vote shortly afterward.

The Florida Democratic Party said they wanted to know which Republicans did vote to support gutting the OCE.

“Floridians deserve to know which of their Republican members of Congress voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics last night,” said spokesman Max Steele. “If they would like to offer any justification whatsoever for why they feel there should be no ethics oversight for members of Congress, we’re all ears. After turning a blind eye to Trump’s historic corruption and conflicts of interest, it’s no wonder Republicans want a piece of the action.”
The Miami Herald reported that Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen did vote in support of killing the OCE on Monday night.

Tuesday’s reversal came after President-elect Donald Trump tweeted his disapproval, as did Democrats and even the head of the conservative-leaning group Judicial Watch.

The House GOP vote on Monday night effectively killed the OCE, stripping it of its independence. It would have reported to the House Ethics committee, meaning that Congress would ultimately control the investigations of its own members.

The office would no longer take anonymous complaints and would not be authorized to make public statements or hire a “communications director or press spokesperson” to speak with news outlets. And it’s name would change from the Office of Congressional Ethics to the Office of Congressional Complaint Review.

Two members of the Florida Democratic Congressional delegation blasted the move earlier in the day.

“Shameful move by House GOP on first day of new Congress” tweeted Tampa Democratic Representative Kathy Castor.

In a similar vein, the move was blasted by South Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who tweeted: “Day 1 & wants to gut the ethics process. Governing under a cloak of darkness is not how to .”

Kathy Castor co-signs letter to Donald Trump calling on him to repeal the Hyde Amendment

Tampa area Representative Kathy Castor is one of more than 100 Democratic members of the House of Representatives who have co-signed a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, calling on him to support the repeal of the Hyde Amendment. That’s the 1976 law named after former Illinois Republican Congressman Henry Hyde which prevents federal funding for abortion.

“Every person should be treated with dignity, compassion and respect – and that includes upholding a woman’s right to make her own decisions about whether to end a pregnancy,” says the letter, written by Berkeley Representative Barbara Lee. “We urge you to begin your presidency with a clear and bold statement that abortion coverage bans have no place in our public policy by eliminating all such restrictions from your FY2018 Budget request.”

Other Florida Democrats on the letter include Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel and Alcee Hastings.

The Hyde Amendment enjoys popular support from a strong majority of Americans. A Marist poll published in July found that 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 63 percent of women, 45 percent of those who say they are “pro-choice,” and 44 percent of Democrats.


Mitch Perry Report for 12.16.16 — Friday follies

Good morning to you all on this, the last Friday MPR I’ll be filing in 2016 …

Good news for those of us on the Affordable Care Act: While the GOP-led House of Representative promise to repeal the ACA within the first 100 days of the Trump administration, the date that the provisions of the act will be delayed, according to a report in today’s New York Times, by as “short as two years or as long as three or four years.”

The GOP always said it would repeal and replace — they just didn’t say how long it would take.

With just three days left before members of the Electoral College vote for president, time is running out for those Democratic electors who want Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to brief them on the latest news about the Russian email hack.

Ain’t going to happen, obviously, and that’s the way it should be, says Florida Senator Bill Nelson. At a news conference in Tampa yesterday, he said, “They’re going to have to go on and do their constitutional duty, regardless of them being able to be briefed on intelligence matters. Just to be able to receive classified information, a person has to go thru an extreme vetting process to make sure that there’s nothing in their background that would then compromise that information in the future. That’s simply not going to happen between now and next Monday.”

Matt Drudge has a link to a Daily Caller story this morning regarding the fact that six Hispanic surnames were among the top 15 common last names in 2010, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Deal with it, America — the country is getting browner by the day.

Keith Ellison, a leading candidate to run the Democratic National Committee next year, is throwing his support behind real estate mogul Stephen Bittel in next week’s race for Miami-Dade County party chair, Patricia Mazzei reports in the Miami Herald.

Speaking of Bittel, though he says he’s trying to be low-key about it all, the above mentioned Senator Nelson seems dead set behind Bittel taking over the Florida Democratic Party next year as well. 

In other news.

Nelson and Kathy Castor reacted with strong rhetoric yesterday regarding the reported Russian intrusion into hacking DNC emails.

Will St. Pete Pride move from the Grand Central District to downtown St. Pete?

Deb Tamargo and Jonny Torres are in a torrid contest to see who leads the Hillsborough County Republican Party over the next two years.

And in Tampa yesterday, union activists say its time for Wal-Mart to start having to pay for all of those calls for service to the police.

In Tampa, Bill Nelson calls Russia hack on DNC email server “closer to an act of war”

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson Thursday called the Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s email system an unprecedented outrage that is “closer and closer to an act of war.”

Speaking to reporters at his Tampa district office, the Florida Democrat made his most outspoken comments yet about the continuing-to-evolve story.

Last Friday, the issue reached a new level of attention, after The Washington Post reported that a secret assessment by the CIA concluded Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than undermining confidence in the U.S. electoral system.

“Not only is this an outrage,” Nelson said. “This is unprecedented. This is crossing the line, closer and closer to an act of war.”

Nelson added that hacking information to influence an election is damaging to the integrity of an election.

“I think there’s going to be serious ramifications of this, regardless of where you hear that different people in the intelligence community have differing opinions,” he said. “Listen: When there is a high consensus of high confidence, that’s the highest level of acceptance of intelligence. And that consensus is out of the CIA? I believe it.”

U.S. Representative Kathy Castor was also condemning the hacking into the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email server account on Thursday.

“The United States must hold Russia accountable for cyber attacks against our country, our electoral system and the private intellectual property of American businesses,” she said in a statement. “These Russian cyber attacks were not a move against any one party, they were a move against our nation and all Americans. The United States also should consider broader sanctions against the Russian government following a robust, bipartisan investigation to confirm the extent and identities of responsible individuals, including Vladimir Putin himself. “

Castor also lashed out at President-elect Trump’s laissez-faire attitude toward the Russians in this story.

“President-Elect Trump should reassess his knowledge and rhetoric toward Russia and be more circumspect in maintaining the dignity of the office upon which he is about to enter,” she said. “America must stand strong and not capitulate to Russia and President [Valdamir] Putin and their often malicious ends.”

At his news conference, Nelson was asked by this reporter if any of Trump’s selections to his Cabinet gave him pause. Nelson referred to Arizona Senator John McCain’s concerns, but not his own.

“You take John McCain — he’s got some serious problems so we want to see what through the examination of the testimony to what degree does his friendship and past business dealings with Russia and Putin how would that possibly affect him in representing the national security of this interests as Secretary of State, and I look forward to that inquiry.”

There are now at least 54 of the 232 Democratic presidential electors who are now calling on national intelligence director James Clapper to authorize a briefing ahead of the Electoral College meeting on Dec. 19 to choose the next president.

Only one Republican — Texas’ Chris Suprun — has joined their call.

Nelson said it wasn’t going to happen, and that it shouldn’t happen.

“The electors are not going to be granted access to the deepest secrets of this country,” he summarily declared Thursday. “They’re going to have to go on and do their constitutional duty, regardless of them being able to be briefed on intelligence matters. Just to be able to receive classified information, a person has to go thru an extreme vetting process to make sure that there’s nothing in their background that would then compromise that information in the future.

“That’s simply not going to happen between now and next Monday.”

Pat Kemp talks (about low-paying) jobs before a group of Tampa millennials

A recent Census Bureau report reveals what many people in the Tampa Bay area know all too well – that the area doesn’t pay that well in terms of annual salary compared to other major regions in the nation.

The median household income in Tampa Bay is $48,911. That’s dead last among the top 25 metro regions in the country, and the only region in the top 25 below an average salary of $50,000.

“We have to look at our economy and what we’re doing here because that separates us from so many other places in terms of driving our wages and driving our economy,” recently elected Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp told a group of millennials in Ybor City on Wednesday morning.

Speaking at the Blind Tiger Cafe on 7th Avenue to discuss the economy and how millennials are impacting job creation, Kemp said that she’s just now learning about all the things the county is doing on the economic development front. One of the biggest surprises she says she’s learned in her short time on the board is the fact that there are thousands of Hillsborough County employees making less than $12 an hour. “That’s stunning to me,” she said.

Speaking about a recent tax-incentive deal the county has made with a window manufacturer, Kemp says she’d like to find a way that new jobs that do come to Hillsborough County pay a certain wage.

“I want them to put something in there that’s like a minimum wage of $12 an hour or something before we subsidize,” she said. “I don’t know what models we have for that or if we just create out own, but I’d really like to see that be part of the protocol for that fund.”

She also said that while business and economic leaders in the Tampa Bay area want to attract educated millennials to the region to reach up to the Austin’s and Charlotte’s of the world, the number of people with undergraduate college degrees in the area is twenty-seven percent, under the national average of thirty-five percent, and below areas like Austin and Boston, which are around forty to forty-five percent. Kemp emphasized that the number of people with college degrees was just one measure of measuring the area, but an important element.

A longtime activist, attorney and and aide to lawmakers like Kathy Castor and Sara Romeo, Kemp for the first time holds elective office. That means being accountable to voters.

Andrew Machota, the head of New Town Connections which presented Kemp’s appearance, expressed concerns about how much lower the pay is Tampa Bay than around the rest of the nation, and asked what her vision was to cure that?

Kemp said she didn’t have any immediate answers, but said she knew what she didn’t want to do.

“When we were subsidizing Walmarts and retail which I just think is ludicrous for minimum wage jobs, that they would be here anyway,” she replied. “I’m going to try to support going local, keeping the wealth here and looking at that avenue as a form of prosperity rather than bringing in the chains and retailers who would come here anyway.”

Although the issue has long past, Kemp again brought up her opposition to the awarding of a $6.25 million subsidy in early 2013 by the BOCC to land a Bass Pro Shops, the chain store mecca for hunters and recreational fisherman. “I don’t know why. That was $6 million that could have been used for economic development … .it’s like crazy, right?

Kevin Beckner, Kemp’s predecessor representing District 6, was the only board member to oppose the measure. Commissioner Sandy Murman recently expressed no regrets for her vote, saying that the county’s return on investment will come back within three years.

Kemp said the county and the state has relied too long on low-paying tourism jobs and then segued into criticizing the county for failing to increase transportation impact fees on new development for decades.

Discussion of what is now known as mobility fees then propelled Kemp to drop talking jobs and segue into talking about one of her passions, public transit, which then dominated the rest of her address.

Run-off elections prove fruitful for Tampa Democrats for second straight year

Somewhat lost in the tumult over the infighting within the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee this week is the fact that for the second time in less than two years, a Democrat has been elected to the Tampa City Council in a run-off election after finishing a distant second in the initial election.

Luis Viera’s win by 63 votes in the District 7 race  came four weeks after he finished 2,469 votes behind Jim Davison in the Nov.8 general election.

“We had a great ground game that we’re really proud of,” Viera said on Thursday. “I think that the the closer that people looked at the issues involved in this election, the  more they were able to make an informed choice.”

The initial odds for the run-off didn’t seem to favor Viera, the 38-year-old Hunters Green-based attorney running for office for the first time. Not only had Davison taken the most votes in the general, but a poll taken two weeks before the run-off continued to show him with a steady lead. He also received two endorsements from two of the original six candidates (Avis Harrison and Cyril Spiro), while the two other Democrats in the race, Gene Siudut and Orlando Gudes, declined to get behind Viera’s candidacy.

Even though the race was considered “nonpartisan,” it was anything but that. The Hillsborough County Republican party literally tried to shower some support for Davison, the only registered Republican in the race, giving him a $1,000 contribution that ultimately was rejected when it ran afoul of the Tampa City Charter. Meanwhile, Viera was backed by Democrats like Kathy Castor, former District 7 representative Lisa Montelione, and ultimately Bob Buckhorn.

And while Republicans are somewhat of an endangered species at City Hall, District 7 has been their lone sanctuary for a number of years now, with Shawn Harrison and Joseph Caetano holding down the seat for a 12-year run from 1999-2011.

But the two debates in the last week of the race could have been the deciding X factor.

The vast majority of voters in Tuesday night’s election voted by mail, most in advance of the negative fallout that Davison received for saying in both debates that he would not take the issue of New Tampa seceding from the rest of Tampa off the table.

While it may not have been the defining moment of the race, Viera believes it was a break for his campaign.

“When I talk to people in whether its Forest Hills or New Tampa, or anywhere in North Tampa, they rejected the idea of using that, even as leverage,” Viera says. “So that’s something as soon as I heard that I knew that it wasn’t going to be well taken, because it wasn’t well taken by me,I don’t think that’s a productive process that you negotiate for North Tampa. To me that’s a non-starter and I believe that the voters agreed with me.”

Davison thinks that Viera was skillful in “twisting the secession thing,” and said he actually won the majority of votes in New Tampa.

While Viera says he won’t use secession as a negotiating point, he was certainly shared Davison’s sentiments on the trail that District 7 needed a fighter to gets its fair share from the rest of the city government.

“Not in an adversarial way, but in a way to work together to stress the great unique benefits of North Tampa,” he says, “whether it’s the University area, which includes USF, Moffitt, Shriners, etc. Whether it’s the wonderful neighborhoods of New Tampa, whether it’s Forest Hills historic neighborhood. Just to stress to people the benefits of neighborhoods, the people, the industries, the potential to the city and I believe that by doing that…we can get the respect that we deserve in North Tampa.”

In April of 2015, Jackie Toledo received 1,370 more votes than Guido Maniscalco in a three-person race for the Tampa City Council District 6 race general election and nearly won the race outright with 46 percent of the vote. But after the third place finisher, Tommy Castellano backed Maniscalco in the run-off, he ended up beating Toledo by 149 votes, in another case of a Democrat beating a Republican in run-off.

“In Guido’s case he was 17 points down, so I think that the role that we played was bigger,” says Hillsborough County DEC Chair Ione Townsend, who was serving as vice chair of the party back then. “I did organize some events, but for Luis, he had the funding and some pretty key endorsements, and the mayor came in at the end to help him.”

Davison admits that Viera had more money and a bigger machine working for him. “I was taking on the whole Democratic machine. You had Jim Davis, Bob Buckhorn and Tom Scott all making multiple robocalls,” he says.”I had robocalls for three days, but I was using a citizen in New Tampa. Not the mayor or a former congressman.”

Viera did raise more than four times as much campaign cash as Davison did. In fact, Davison raised the least money of the original six candidates, showing that in a small local election, money is not always a deciding factor, though ultimately it was here.

“It takes a lot of money to get that kind of message and explain it to people,” he says about his comments that a new firehouse was needed immediately. “Money I didn’t have.”

“If you examine the metrics of the Tampa Bay Fire Dept., it doesn’t call for another firehouse, ” Davison adds. “It may in the future, but certainly there’s not a need for allocating funds in the next budget or two.”

Davison says he may run against Viera again in 2019, but says that all of the other candidates in the race are formidable in their own right. And he says the issues he was talking about during the race are still there.

“They’re going to have to give Luis something,” he says about what Viera can get for the district when he runs for re-election.

Hillsborough County GOP Chair Deb Tamargo was unavailable for comment, but Jonny Torres, who is challenging her for party chair later this month, didn’t hold back.

“You can’t look at a race like the one in District 7 where we only lost by 65 votes and ask yourself, “what could we have done differently?” If the margin were larger it would be a very different conversation, but we have not been able to gain any ground in local elections for years,” he tells SPB in an email. “While we have been able to hold on to most of our local offices, the changing demographics in the county are not trending in our favor. This only reinforces the need for us to ramp up and expand our visibility, voter registration and engagement in the community to be better prepared for these types of opportunities.”


By only 65 votes, Luis Viera defeats Jim Davison in Tampa City Council special election

By just 65 votes, Luis Viera defeated Jim Davison in the Tampa City Council District 7 special run-off election, taking 50.64 percent to Davison’s 49.36 percent, a difference of only a single percentage point.

Viera received 2,588 votes to Davison’s 2,523, just 65 votes out of 5,120 cast.

The special election was held to succeed Lisa Montelione, who was re-elected without opposition to the North Tampa district seat in early 2015. Last fall, Montelione announced that she would run for the state Legislature, creating the opening for a new candidate.

Turnout for the runoff was low on Election Day, with 815 people voting. The clear majority of those who did participate voted by mail — 3,730. In four days of early voting (Thursday through Sunday), an additional 575 people cast ballots.

Viera’s victory maintains an all-Democratic Tampa City Council. If Davison had won, he would have been the first Republican on the board since Joseph Caetano, a District 7 councilmember defeated by Montelione when he ran for re-election in 2011.

Viera was endorsed by top Tampa area Democrats like Congresswoman Kathy Castor and City Council Chair Mike Suarez, a longtime friend. He also received a late endorsement from Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who said he was irked by Davison’s statement in the last week of the campaign that he would not dismiss the idea of threatening New Tampa secede from the rest of Tampa.

Although some speculated that Buckhorn would have ultimately endorsed Viera anyway, a fellow Democrat, Davison’s “Brexit”-like attitude made for a more dramatic element to the race.

A poll Friday by St. Pete Polls showed the two candidates tied at 39 percent, with 21 percent undecided. Undecideds apparently broke for Viera, if just narrowly.

For the 62-year-old Davison, this is his third loss running for office. He failed at two previous attempts for Hillsborough County Commission in 2002 and 2004.

Davison was also the co-founder of the New Tampa Transportation Task Force and has served on other transportation committees, including the Committee of ’99, which endorsed the idea of a sales tax to pay for transportation improvements.

Viera is a 38-year-old attorney with the downtown Tampa law firm of Ogden & Sullivan. He has been a member of the city of Tampa’s Civil Service Review Board since 2011.

Like Davison, Viera too is a resident of Hunter’s Green in New Tampa.

In the race, Viera raised more than four times the amount of campaign cash as Davison: $107,474 to Davison’s $25,630.

For the first round of voting Nov. 8, Davison won a plurality of votes in a six-person field. Viera came in second, behind by nearly eight percentage points (31-22 percent).

Two of the four remaining candidates – Avis Harrison and Cyril Spiro – endorsed Davison, while the other two Democrats in the contest – retired police officer Orlando Gudes and La Gaceta writer/editor Gene Siudut – opted to stay neutral.

The fact that Viera wasn’t endorsed by competitors “spoke volumes,” Davison charged at a debate in Forest Hills last week.

District 7 includes New Tampa, the University area, Terrace Park, Forest Hills and Temple Crest.

Viera will make $43,139 annually in what is considered a part-time job.

Luis Viera has now raised more than $100K in bid for Tampa City Council seat

With a little more than a week before the run-off election in Tampa’s District 7 City Council race, attorney Luis Viera has now raised more than $100,000 in his bid to succeed Lisa Montelione.

Viera faces Jim Davison in the December 6 special election, and the latest public poll shows Davison leading Viera, 42 percent to 35 percent.

Davison took the most votes in the November 8 primary, getting 31 percent to Viera’s 22 percent.

Two of the four candidates who also ran in the Nov. 8 election – Avis Harrison and Cyril Spiro – have endorsed Davison. The registered Republican also announced on Monday that he has received the endorsement from the Greater Tampa Realtors.

Viera, a registered Democrat, has received endorsements from the likes of Congresswoman Kathy Castor and former Congressman Jim Davis.

Viera has now raised $101,890 in the race, and had more than $25,000 cash on hand as of late last week.

Davison, on the other hand, has raised a total of $19,740, with just a little more than $3,000 cash on hand.

The two candidates will engage in their only two debates of the runoff period this week, with the first taking place Tuesday evening at the New Tampa Regional Library at 6:30 p.m.


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