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Ed Narain, Dianne Hart and Tom Scott among the winners of Hillsborough NAACP straw poll

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Ed Narain, Dianne Hart and Tom Scott were among the winners of a straw poll conducted Thursday night at the Hillsborough County’s branch of the NAACP community forum at Middleton High School.

‘Tis the season for straw polls, and just as the GOP-flavored Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce skewed heavily Republican in its results earlier this week, the NAACP contingent went heavily Democratic in their choices. In fact, not a single Republican won an individual race in the poll.

Middleton High sits in the heart of East Tampa, an African-American enclave where there are intensely competitive Democratic primaries going in the district for House and Senate.

Narain edged out Betty Reed, 113-85, in the Senate District 19 contest. Republican John Houman was a distant third, followed by the two St. Petersburg based candidates, Darryl Rouson (who got 22 votes) and Augie Ribeiro (who received 9).

Dianne Hart narrowly edged out Walter Smith in the race for House District 61, 88-81. Attorney Sean Shaw, running again for the seat, finished third with 66 votes.

In the District 6 County Commission race, former City Councilman/County Commissioner Tom Scott won the plurality of votes with 99. Sierra Club activist Pat Kemp was second (61 votes), followed by attorney Brian Willis (38 votes), transportation consultant (and the lone Republican who appeared at the event) Tim Schock was fourth with 30 votes, Republican Jim Norman (a no-show) was fifth with 16 votes, and former Plant City Mayor John Dicks finished sixth with eight votes.

In the Senate contest, Patrick Murphy was first with 88 votes, followed by former JAG Navy officer Pam Keith, who received 49 votes. Marco Rubio was next with 47 votes, followed by Alan Grayson with 30 votes (at one point during the day Grayson was rumored to be making an appearance, but he did not).

Here’s the entire list of winners:

President  – Hillary Clinton

Senate – Patrick Murphy

Congressional District 14 – Kathy Castor

Congressional District 15 – Jim Lange

State Attorney- Andrew Warren

Senate District 18 – Bob Buesing

Senate District 19 – Ed Narain

House District 58 – Jose Vasquez

House District 59 – Rena Frazier

House District 60 – David Singer

House District 61 – Dianne Hart

House District 63 – Lisa Montelione

Clerk of the Court – Pat Frank

Property Appraiser – Bob Henriquez

County Commission District 1 –  Jeff  Zampitella

County Commission District 6 – Thomas Scott

Circuit Judge, Group 3 – Carl Hinson

Circuit Judge, Group 24 -Missy Polo

County Judge, Group 10 –  Miriam Valkenberg,

School Board, District 1 – Susan Valdes

School Board District 3 – Cindy Stuart

School Board District 5 – Jacqueline Coffie Leaks

School Board District 7 – Stanley Gray


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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