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Poll of Tampa City Council special election: Luis Viera, Jim Davison tied at 39%

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A new poll taken of the Tampa City Council District 7 race shows a dead heat between Jim Davison and Luis Viera.

The  St. Pete Polls survey puts Viera at 39.7 percent and Davison at 39.3 percent, with 21 percent undecided.

The new survey shows for the first time that Viera has a chance of winning the race. He finished eight points behind Davison in the November 8 election. A previous survey conducted by St. Pete Polls twelve days ago had Davison up by seven points, 42 percent to 35 percent.

The one major piece of news since that time has been the controversy regarding Davison’s comments made at two debates last week. Davison said that he would not dismiss the idea of threatening to advocate for New Tampa to secede from the rest of Tampa as a piece of leverage to use in trying to get more services for the district.

Viera has criticized Davison for his comments, which also led Mayor Bob Buckhorn to weigh in with an endorsement of Viera, after previously staying neutral in the race.

Viera, like Buckhorn, is a Democrat. Davison is a Republican. The two candidates are vying to succeed Lisa Montelione, who resigned from the seat after serving for the past five-and-a-half years to run for a state legislative seat.

While Montelione is a Democrat, Republicans controlled the seat for the previous 12 years.

The survey was conducted by an automated phone call polling system on December 2 and December 3. The poll has a plus/minus margin of 4.8 percent.

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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