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Cyril Spiro hasn’t made peace with Luis Viera after City Council election

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Tampa City Council District 7 special election is officialy history, but the bad feelings between some of the candidates apparently aren’t.

While newly-elected Councilman Luis Viera was being sworn in at City Hall on Thursday morning after defeating Jim Davison in a nail-biter of an election, Cyril Spiro was blasting his former opponent for “attempting to friend my FB friends as well as the FB friends of his other former opponents in the City Council race.”

“If you get a friend request from him, it is your choice to friend him or not, but he never asked me if I am OK with it and I did not endorse him in the run off,” Spiro told his followers on Facebook, adding, “I hope that he has a better sense of boundaries while sitting on City Council.”

When one follower wrote back to Spiro that “a direct FB connection might be a good way to communicate with him and since he’s going to be your city councilperson that might be a good channel to have,” Spiro disagreed.

“When Luis targets his opponents FB friends and tries to befriend them it shows a lack of etiquette, social maturity and it is disrespectful to the other candidates. It’s the same pattern of behavior that I saw on the campaign trail that turned me away from him in the runoff. Now that he is our representative, I can only hope that he will mature quickly.”

Spiro was one of the original six candidates who vied to succeed Lisa Montelione in the special election in District 7. Davison and Viera qualified for the run-off, which resulted in Viera’s one percentage point victory on Tuesday.

When contacted this afternoon, Viera seemed bewildered by Spiro’s criticism.

“I have not attempted to befriend Cyril’s friends,” he said. “I do not know what he’s talking about. I wish Cyril the best. I thank him for his work in this campaign. I thank him for his contributions, and I wish him and his family sincerely the best, and I look forward to working with Cyril and his leadership capacity at Cory Lake Isles and improving all of north Tampa. “

When contacted by SPB, Spiro said that Viera “should have asked me if it would be ok for him to ‘friend’ my FB Friend list before he did it.” And he suggested that we reach out Avis Harrison, who like Spiro, endorsed Davison against Viera in the City Council District 6 run-off.

Harrison didn’t want to say too much when contacted about the issue, writing in an email that, “Any issues with Mr. Viera as it pertains to my Facebook page has been resolved. The voters have spoken and he’s my Councilman now and I wish him well.”

Another vanquished opponent in the District 6 race from Nov. 8, Gene Siudut, said he wasn’t too concerned if Viera contacted any of his friends on the social network or not.

‘To my knowledge, Luis has not attempted to friend request anyone of my friends, but being that we are both Democrats and travel in similar political circles, we already have over 100 mutual friends, in Facebook terms,” he said, adding, “I would not have a problem with anyone attempting to connect to people who are my friends in terms of Facebook as long as it earned,” Siudut said. “I wouldn’t want someone connecting to my network for profit or spamming, but regardless, it is up to the person on the other end of the request to accept or deny. I frequently get friend requests from people I don’t know. I am no more angry about that than I am about receiving spam. It’s just something we deal with and have the freedom to accept or deny.”

Viera began his first day as a councilman on Thursday, representing all of the residents of District 7.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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