Tampa City Council member Mike Suarez will officially kick off his 2015 re-election campaign on October 28th during a fundraising event hosted by the Beck Group and several individual contributors at 220 West Seventh Avenue in Tampa near the newly opened Ulele Restaurant.
The suggested donation for hosts is $1,000 and $500 for co-hosts. Individual attendees are asked to kick in $100.
A host committee is still being formed and already includes former mayoral candidate and entrepreneur Ed Turanchik, governmental affairs guru Lois Betz, prominent community volunteer Joe Capitano Sr., contractor Steve Cona, III, Judge Jim Davis and several others.
“During this first term, we’ve worked to improve service delivery, enhance neighborhoods and to guarantee your money is used as efficiently as possible. As the Chair of HART we’ve increased ridership and improved the customer experience with public transit. I have great pride in what we’ve accomplished together and I know there are more exciting changes coming to Tampa,” Suarez wrote in an email invitation.
Suarez currently has only one challenger – Seminole Heights activist and frequent city council commenter Susan Long. Suarez has raised $20,905 so far with contributions from numerous attorneys and business owners as well as the International Association of Firefighters local 754 and the RSA Consulting Group. Long has not reported any contributions.
Suarez currently sits as chair of the HART board. In July he was slammed by Tampa Bay Times columnist Dan Ruth for fumbling questions regarding the Pinellas transit referendum to expand transportation options in which he referred to 2018 as a presidential election year (um, no) and suggested that two years isn’t enough time for Hillsborough to gather its own referendum. In an email, Suarez called the presidential year gaffe a “slip of the tongue.” Regardless, Suarez’s status as a powerful incumbent who likely has mayoral aspirations will be difficult to defeat next March.
Those interested in attending his kick-off fundraiser are asked to RSVP (translation: donate) on his website.