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Democrat Mike Reedy eyes getting HD 63 back into the D column

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Ever since Ed Homan was termed out of his House District 60 seat in North Tampa in 2010, it’s bounced back and forth in terms of political affiliation over the three subsequent elections — with Republican Shawn Harrison winning in the big Republican years of 2010 and 2014, and Democrat Mark Danish taking it in 2012, the same year that Barack Obama won Hillsborough County.

With Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee next year, Democrats throughout the state and certainly in Hillsborough have been showing uncommon enthusiasm about running next year, and that’s why Mike Reedy is optimistic this early out.

Reedy, a state organizer for the LGBT group Equality Florida, announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the seat back in January, and he’s beginning the work now to unseat Harrison.

Democrats throughout the state were handed a gift last week when House Speaker Steve Crisafulli quit the legislative session with three days left to go, and Reedy has pounced on that development.

“Shawn Harrison and his gang in the Republican leadership have let us, the taxpayers, down once again,” he said in a statement issued last week. “I, along with my fellow citizens of District 63, call for you, Representative Harrison, to return your paycheck. You work for us, not the Republican leadership.

“When you ran, you committed to do a job for the people who elected you,” Reedy added. “When the going got tough, you quit. In the private sector, if you decide to stop doing your job, you get fired. We can’t fire you until November 2016, but we can demand you repay us for deciding to not do your job.

“You didn’t have time to finish the one thing you are obligated to accomplish—a budget. You neglected the pressing necessities of healthcare, water and land preservation, the environment, and education, but you somehow found time to advocate for discriminatory policies against your own constituents and to give tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporations.”

Crisafulli and other House Republicans were blasted in editorial pages up and down the state last week for their actions, yet cynics say it won’t really hurt them next November, since the GOP seems to have a lockdown in controlling both houses of the Legislature, while holding the Governor’s Mansion and the three other Cabinet positions.

But there are a handful of House and Senate seats that truly are swing-state in their composition, and HD 63 — which includes Lutz, New Tampa, Seminole Heights, Town ‘N Country, Egypt Lake and Ybor City — is one of those districts.

Reedy announced earlier this week that he’ll be holding his first big fundraiser later this month at the home of Alan Clendenin, first vice chair of the Florida Democratic Party.

Among those listed on the host committee include  Hillsborough County Clerk of Circuit Court Pat Frank, Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, Tampa City Council Members Mike Suarez and Guido Maniscalco; Hillsborough County School Board Members April Griffin and Susan Valdes; and former Florida House Rep. Mary Figg.

“I am honored to have such a distinguished group of elected officials and community leaders supporting my candidacy. Their support demonstrates the lasting impact we can make in Tallahassee,” Reedy said in a statement.

The fundraiser takes place on Tuesday, May 26.

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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