Tampa City Council members Yolie Capin and Frank Reddick have endorsed Guido Maniscalco in his race for the District 6 Tampa City Council seat that will be decided next Tuesday. They made that announcement Wednesday night in Ybor City.
Maniscalco is battling Jackie Toledo in a fierce contest to complete the seven-member roster of the Council. All seven seats were up for election earlier this month, but the incumbents in five of those races easily took back their seats.
And while the District 2 and District 6 seats were the only “open seats,” District 2 really wasn’t, since Councilman Charlie Miranda was an incumbent himself, though not in that particular seat. He defeated Julie Jenkins and Joe Citro with relative ease as well on March 3.
But the District 6 race has been an intense battle, though on paper, Maniscalco remains the definite underdog. Toledo took 46 percent of the vote on March 3, despite an onslaught of negative media coverage. Maniscalco barely made it into the runoff, getting 29 percent of the vote.
That media scrutiny has only increased on Toledo, though it’s mostly been about third-party mailers that have been derided as excessively negative.
Those negative mailers (which Toledo has denied any association with) led five of the seven current Council members to issue a statement late last week denouncing those tactics.
And it was those negative mailers, Capin said last night at Gasper’s Grotto in Ybor City, that led to her deciding to support Maniscalco.
“I brought this with me, because these have arrived at my house,” said Capin, standing on a stage in the courtyard of the restaurant, holding up several of those negative mailers.
“Disgusting, despicable,” a woman shouted from the bar as Capin displayed the mailers.
“I’m not going to mention names. We did write letters, we did take a stand at City Council against this,” she said, before pulling out of her purse a mailer from Maniscalco.
“Positive, positive, positive,” she described them. “The reason I’m here is…today I will be endorsing Guido Maniscalco.”
Councilman Frank Reddick stood next to Capin at the same time. He then immediately followed up. “Let me say I will be joining my fellow Council member,” as the crowd cheered.
“He has the integrity, the honesty, the intellect to serve and place in that seat that Mary (Mulhern) is vacating,” Capin said. “That’s what brought me to here.”
Capin and Reddick were at Gasper’s Grotto to not only endorse Maniscalco, but to appear in support of their soon to be departing colleague Mary Mulhern, who is term-limited from office, and will leave the Council after next week.
Also at the event was Councilman Mike Suarez, who like Capin and Reddick, was re-elected earlier this year. He did not make any public endorsement in the race.
Capin and Reddick are Democrats, like Maniscalco. Toledo is a registered Republican. She has been endorsed by District 7 Council member Lisa Montelione.