Guido Maniscalco nabs endorsement from Hillsborough School Board member April Griffin

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Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin has endorsed Guido Maniscalco over two other challengers for City Council. Maniscalco is running to replace term-limited council chair Charlie Miranda.

“April Griffin has proven herself to be a true leader, willing to fight for what is right, and it is a great honor to receive her endorsement and support,” Maniscalco said.

As a countywide board member Griffin represents voters, parents and students throughout Hillsborough. She was re-elected to her seat by a wide margin in November.

Though both School Board and City Council races are non-partisan, Griffin is a known Democrat. She considered a run for County Commission as one and her challenger for School Board raked in piles of party money from GOP sources. Maniscalco is also a Democrat. Jackie Toledo, who is considered by some as the frontrunner, is a Republican.

“I am pleased to endorse Guido Maniscalco for the District 6 seat on the Tampa City Council.  Guido has the necessary skills and knowledge to help move Tampa forward,” Griffin said. “He will serve the city well with his professionalism and knowledge of city issues.”

Maniscalco is a small business owner who runs his family’s jewelry store in West Tampa. The store has been in business for over 40 years.  He currently serves as the president of the MacFarlane Park Neighborhood Association, as a member of the City of Tampa Code Enforcement Board and as a member of the Hillsborough County Human Rights Council.

Maniscalco trails Toledo in campaign cash. He’s brought in just $22,139. Toledo has raised more than $80,000. A third candidate, Thomas Clark Castellano, has brought in $26,340. The election is March 3.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email