Tuesday night’s Tampa Bay Young Republicans City Council forum was the last official scheduled campaign forum of the 2015 campaign season, and while District 1 candidate Susan Long said she couldn’t recall a comment she made at an earlier debate because “there’s been so many of them,” the fact is that this was a relatively light schedule of events compared to the race four years ago, when a wide-open mayoral contest brought much more intense attention to the campaign.
The forum concluded with a series of rapid fire questions and answers that focused on lighter topics, though it could construed as a way to give the voters a different perspective about the men and women vying to represent the city over the next four years.
Who was their favorite athlete in the Tampa Bay?
Julie Jenkins chose former Tampa Bay Bucs running back Mike Alstott, which provoked some grief from the crowd and her colleagues considering the battering fullback hung up his cleats more than six years ago.
Guido Maniscalco and Mike Suarez chose Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Harry Cohen chose the late Lee Roy Selmon.
Paul Ermi initially said his son who plays baseball, but when that answer was deemed insufficiently maudlin, he quickly switched it to recently inducted hall of fame Buccaneer Derrick Brooks.
Susan Long opted for former Yankee Derek Jeter.
Favorite park or other iconic establishment in Tampa?
Julie Jenkins: Curtis Hixon Park.
Guido Maniscalco: Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Water Works was second favorite.
Harry Cohen: Roy Jenkins Pool on Davis Islands.
Paul Ermi- Lowry Park Zoo. Though he said he hoped the city would change up the concert series, whom he claims are “the worst bands I’ve ever heard.”
Charlie Miranda: Al Lopez Park.
Joe Citro: Rogers Park.
Mike Suarez: Tampa Theater.
Susan Long: Water Works Park.
Best Cuban sandwich?
Julie Jenkins: La Tropicana.
Guido Maniscalco & Mike Suarez: West Tampa Sandwich Shop.
Harry Cohen: Hugo’s.
Paul Ermi:Cacciatore Bros.
Joe Citro: Arco Irris.
Charlie Miranda: no choice, other than to say “Wherever you go, it’s the bread” that counts.When asked which bakery he preferred, he said La Segunda.
Susan Long: Charlie’s Market (at 22nd and Sligh).
Favorite nonprofit charity?
Julie Jenkins – OASIS network.
Guido Maniscalco – Ybor City Lions Club.
Paul Ermi – Masonic Club.
Charlie Miranda – Said he gave to “eight or nine charities,” but specifically mentioned the University of Tampa.
Joe Citro – Ybor City Museum Society
Mike Suarez – Franciscan Center
Susan Long – Starting Right Now.